Skip to main content

Full text of "The Living age"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 



at |http : //books . google . com/ 



D 976,203 




\ 



GENEf^AL LIBRARY 

-op- 
University OF Michigan. 



PRESENTED BY 



.H:tr^^C^..J^^,jL/j,^t^WL^.<^ 



5 






.189^.. 



♦ ♦ . 4 



D gitized by 



Googk 



. i-V/ 



Digitized by 



Googk 



Digitized by 



Googk 



Digitized by 



Googk 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LITTELL'S 



LIYING AGE. 



^/^^^^ 



E Plubibus UiruM. 

* Tbeee pnbUcatioiii of the day ibould from time to time be winnowed, the wheat earefhlly presenred, and 

the chaff thrown away." 

" Made op of every oreature't bett" 

'' Yarioas, that the mind 
Of deflnltorr man. studious of change 
And pleased with novelty, may be indulged." 



FOUBTH 8EBIE8» VOLUME XX. 

FBOH THE BEGINNING, VOL. CYIU. 

JANUARY. FEBRUARY. MARCa 

1871. 



BOSTON: 

LITTELL AND GAY. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL CONTENTS 
ov 

THE LIVING AGE, VOLUME CVIII. 

THB TWSMTISTH QUABTXKLT YOLUMX OV THB WOURTU BSBIX8. 

JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, 1871. 



679 
648 
707 
791 



67 
887 



QuABTiRLT Review. 
Pditioal Letsons of the War, . 
LiTes of the Lord Chuioellon of Irdand, 

Modern Whist, 

French Patriotio Songs, .... 

Wbtmihsteb Review. 
American Literatare. .... 
The Social Condition of England under 
Henry VTIl, 

North British Review. 

The Poems of Shelley, .... 8 

London Quarterly Review. 

The Ifoabite Stone, 828 

British Quarterly Review. 

The Bfalmesbory Papers, . 451 

Contemporary Review. 

Quarrelling, 494 

DeanAlford, 688 

Fortnightly Review. 
The Future of Franoe, . .181 

Balsao*s Novels, .* ... 515 

Blackwood's Magazine. 

Earl's Dene, 167,286 

Castle St Angelo, 195 

Frasir's Magazine. 
The Personal History of Imperialism in 

1870, 

Progress, 

The Monastery of Sumelas, 

DuBUN University Magazine. 
The Highway of Cloud, .... 
Maomillan's Magazine. 

Rabelais, 

Wesley and Arnold on the War, 

The Alabama Claims, 

Qregarioosnees, 



228 
411 
746 



806 



81 
124 
877 
670 i 



Cornhill Magazine. 

After Ten Years, 68 

Some Recollections of a Reader, . 108 

Records cf the Venetian Inquisition, . 861 

Sheanng in New South Wales, . 478 

Zumalaoarreguy, 589 

Bluebeard's Keys, 686 

The Late Eclipse, 729 

Good Words. 

Femyhurst Court, 48 

The Dressmakers, .... 485, 668 
Hugh Aiiller, 561 

Saint Pauls. 
Wilfrid Cumbermede, . . 110, 860, 624 

Browning's Poems, 165 

Louis XIV. as a Matchmaker, . .178 
Moral Indignation as a National Charac- 
teristic, 286 

Everybody's Baby, 447 

The Gamut of Light, .... 617 
Hannah: by the author of John Halifiiz, 

674, 787 
The mng and the Book, . .771 

Argosy. 

Annette's Love Story, .... 291 

Spectator. 
The Indifference of Animals to Specula- 
tive Truth, 40 

National Attractiveness, .... 68 

English Opinion on French AffAirs, . . 69 

Life of Madame Beauhamais de Miramon, 186 

The Science of Nonsense, . 261 

The New Constitution of Germany, . . 268 

Prof Shiairp on Culture and Religion, . 288 
Mr. Bright's Resignation, . .815 

Foreign Policy and No-Policy, . . 818 

Carlyle on Verse, 482 

Personal Personages, .... 489 

War and Christianity, .... 672 

The ** Quarterly " on the Commons, . 696 

General Trochu, 688 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



IV CON! 

Eotvos, 768 

Women and Alcohol, .... 768 

M. Thiers, 822 

TheBaUot 828 

EOOKOMIST. 

Elections to the Metropolitan School 

Board, 67 

Mr. Bright's Retirement, . .817 

General Schenok's Miaston, . . . 609 
The New Emperor of Germany, . 676 

Gambetta'8 Besignaaon, . ... 704 



Satdkdat Rbtusw. 



Great Girls, . 
The Lessons of the Eclipse, 
Noise, .... 
Madame Elisabeth, . 
The Children's Cnisade, . 
Plainness and Ill-Favour, 
Sweetness and Light, 



Pall Mall Gazettb. 

From an Englishman in Spain, 
The Nennig Inscriptions, . 
Mendelssohn at Buckingham Palace, 
Germany and Bismarck, • 



64 

486 
606 
766 
769 
816 
818 



189 
888 
687 

7661 



ENTS. 

ATBRVjnm. 




The North-German Arctic Expedition, 


. 640 


Chambbbs* Journal. 




The Titles of Books, 
Seeing Lapland, .... 
At the Morgans', . . « . 
A New Zealand Station, . 


. 876 
. 426 
. 806 
. 811 


All thb Tbab Boomu. 




Weeds, 

Borrowing Trouble^ 
Science and Imagination, 


. 188 
. 602 
. 667 


London Societt. 




That Life is an Art, 


. 480 


N. Y. EvB. Post. 


X 


Neutrality in America, . 
Is a Plebiscite Necessary T 
The So-called Latin Race, 


. 61 
. 441 
. 607 


Southern Rbtibw. 






. 269 


Chxoaqo Tribune. 
The Ingoldsby Legends, , 


. 883 . 


Boston Journal. 


Death of George Ticknor, 


. 448 



Digitized by 



Googk 



INDEX TO VOLUME CYIII. 



AXTRACTITENESfl, NATIONAL, 

Amerioa, Neutrality in, . 
Aoatrian Anxie'ies, 
Amerioao Literature, 
Arnold and Wesley on War, 
Angelo, Castle St., . 
Annette's Love-Story, 
Alabama Claims, The, 
Arctic Expedition, The German, 
Alford, Dean, . 
Alcohol and Women, . . 
At the Morgans*, . 



Bbowvuio's Poems, 
Barnes, Albert, 
Bright*s Resignation, 
Baby, EveryUxJy's, 
Borrowing Trouble, 
Balzac's Novels, 
Bluebeard's Keys, . 
Bismarck, Germany for, . 
Ballot, The, . 



ClYIL SbRTIOB EXAMIMAnONS, 

Castle St. Angelo, . 

Cannon.firing, Influence of, upon Rain, . 

Culture and Religion, Protiessor Shairp on, 

Cloud, The Highway of, . 

Cassagnao, Paul G., 

Carlyle on Yerse, . 

Compass Plant, The, 

Commons, The ** Quarterly " on the. 

Chancellors of Ireland, Lives of the. 

Children's Crusade, The, 



53 

61 

64 

67 

124 

195 

291 

877 

640 

688 

768 

805 

155 
188 
815 
447 
502 
515 
686 
766 
828 

166 
195 
285 
288 
806 
860 
482 
484 
5^ 
648 
759 



DEsntuonoii, Abib of. 
Dressmakers, The, . 



. 188 
486, 558 



English Opinion on French Aftaibs,. 59 

Earl's Dene 167, 285 

England, Social Condition of, under 

Henry VIIL, .... 887 

Eclipse, Lessons of the, .... 485 

Eclipse, The Ute, 729 

Elisabeth, Madame, .... 755 

Eotvus, 758 



Febnthubsl Covbt, 
France, The Future of, . 
Foreign Policy and No-Policy, 



48 
181 
818 



Froude on Progress, . . . .411 
French Family Circle, A, . . 722 

French Patriotic Songs, . . . .791 

Gbeat Giblb, 54 

Germany, New Constitution of, . . 258 

Germany, New Emperor of, . . . 275 

Geological Systems and Endemic Diseases, 804 
Gamut of Light, The, . . . .617 

Gregariousness, 670 

G.imbetta's Resignation, .... 704 

Germany for Bismarck, .... 766 

Hellenism — Old and New,. . . 259 
Henry VHL, Social Condition of England 

under, 887 

Hannah, 674,787 

Indifference of Animals to Specula- 
tive Truth, .... 40 
Imperialism in 1870, The Personal His- 
tory of, 228 

Inquisition, Venetian, Records of the, . 851 

•• Ingoldsby Legends," The, ... 888 

Ima^nation, Science and, . . . 567 

Jerusalem, Water, under, . . 425 

Literature, American, .... 67 

Louis XIV. as a Mritch-maker, . . 178 

Lapland, Seeing, 426 

Life is an Art, 480 

Latin Race, The So-CaUed, ... 507 

Light, Gamut of, 617 

MiRAMiON, Madame de. Life of, . . 186 
Moral Indignation as a National Charac- 
teristic, 287 

Moabite Stone, The, . . . .828 

Malmesbury Papers, The, . . . 451 

Miller, Hugh, 551 

Mendelssohn at Buckingham Palace, . 687 

Morgans', At the, 805 

National Attractivbnebs, ... 58 

Neutrality in America, .... 61 

Nonsense, The Science of, . . . 251 

Nennig Inscriptions, The, . . 888 

Noise, .,....• 505 

New Zealand Station, A 811 

V 



Digitized by 



Googk 



VI 



INDEX. 



Pbogbess, 

Personal Personages, 
Plebiscite, A, Is it Necessary, 
Political Lessons of the War, 
Plainness and lU-Favour, 

QuABUB, Francis, Pobm bt, 
Quarrelling, . 



Rabelais, .... 

Reader, Some Recollections of a. 
Ring and the Book, The, 



411 

489 
441 

679 
816 

498 
494 

81 
103 
771 



Shellbt, Thb Poems of, . 8 

Seed Time and Harvest, 19, 85, 141, 210, 275, 
835, 402, 465, 529. 599, 666, 728, 784 
Speculative Truth, Indifference of Animals 

to, 40 

Singing of Swans, 52 

School Board Elections, .... 57 
Spain and the French Revolution, . . 86 

Steam Army, A, 177 

Spain, Letter from an Englishman in, . 189 
Shearing in New South Wales, . 473 



Schenck's Mission, 509 



Science and Imagination, 
Sumelas, The Monastery of, 
San Francisco, 
Sweetness and Light, 



567 
746 
768 
818 



Tbbes, 166 

Tea, Substitute fbr, 278 

Titles of Books, 875 

Ticknor, G^rge, Death of, . . . 448 

Trochu, General, 688 

Thiers, M., . . . .822 

Yenetian Inquisition, Reoobds of tub, 851 



WiuFBio Cumbebmedb, . 
Wesley as a Physoian, 
Wesley and Arnold on War, 
Weeds, .... 
War and Christianity, 
War, Political Lessons of the. 
Whist, Modem, 
Women and Alcohol, 



ZVMALAOABBEainr, . 

Zodiacal Light, 



110, 860, 624 

. 123 

. 124 

. 184 

. 572 

. 579 

. 707 

. 763 



589 
557 



POETRY. 



Among thb Fnt-TBSBs, 
After Ten Tears, . 
After Biany Days, . 



Bums, . 

Beech and Briony, 



Celts, The, . 
Child's EpiUph, 
ChUd-Wisdom, 



DaffiKlils, 

Death, the Leveller, 

Dark Wood, The, . 



Ear-Rings, 

Etrurian Valley, In the, 

Epigram from Meleager, 



For Ever, 
Frosty Day, . 
Filiolss Dttlcisdir^, 
Fashionable Piety, . 

Garden Reverie, 

Horace to his Slave, 
Hesper, . 



Last Night of the Year, 
LitUe While, A, . 
Lugubrious Clown, The, 
Lenons of Nature, . 



2 

68 

130 

511 
770 



Last Conqueror, 514 

Love in Winter, 642 

Misrepresentation, 180 

Music of the Sea, 450 

MediUtion5, 770 



66 November, 284 

284 , New Year's Night Thoughts, ... 886 

822 Now and Ever, 450 

Night&U, 578 



450 
514 
642 

66 
180 
274 

2 

194 
886 
514 

578 

822 

770 

822 
822 
450 
514 



Rose Aylmer, 209 

** Remember not the Sins of my Youth," 258 

Sleep, 60 

Spinning, 130 

Syrens, The, 194 

Seaside Well, 258 

Soul's History, 258 

Soul and Body, . 514 

Snow, 578 

Sunrise, The First, 642 

Sea.Port, An Old, 642 

Sonnet, 685 

Swan Song of Parson Avery, . . 706 

Trifles 514 



Wishing-Cap, To my. 
Winter Evening, 
Whinny Moor, 



66 
192 

770 



Digitized by 



Googk 



INDEX. 



VII 



BUTVBXAmD'S RSTS, 

Pit— iniler«. The, . 
Etfl^sDene, 
Fttnjhunt Court, . 



TALES. 



. 686 
485,558 
167, 285 

. 48 



Hannah, 674,787 

Morgans', At the, . . . . . 805 

Seed Time and Harvest, 19, 85, 141, 210, 275, 
885, 402, 465, 529, 599, 666, 728, 784 



Wilfrid Cumbermede, 



110, 860, 624 



Digitized by 



Qoogk 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



LIT TELL'S LIVING AGE. 

No. 1387.— January 1, 187L 



CONTENTS. 

1. Thb Pobms or Shbllit, .... AbWA British Review^ ... 8 

2. SiBD-TiMB AND Ha&VBST : or DUBINO MT Ap- 

PBBNTiossHiP. Translated for The Liv^ 

ing Ag^ from the PLatt-DeuUch of . . Fritz Reuter^ 19 

8. Rabelais, M(iemillan*9 Magazine^ ... 81 

4. The Indiprbbnob or Animals to Spbcula- 

^ TiVB Tbuth, Spectator 40 

5. Fbbhyhvbst Coubt. By the Author of ** Stooe 

£dge,**eto. Conoladed, . . . . Good Words^ 48 

6. National Attbaotiyenebs, .... Spectator^ 58 

7. Gbbat Gibls, Saturday Review , . . . .54 

8. The Poutical Result or the Elections to 

the Mbtbopolitan School Boabd, . Economist^ 57 

9. English Opinion on Fbbnch Afpaibs, . Spectator, 59 

10. Nedtbalitt in Amebica, .... J\''ew York Evening Post, . 61 

.11. Atteb Ten Teabs, Cornhill Magazine, . . . 68 

POETRY. 

Among the Fib-Tbees, . . • ^ I Afteb Ten Yeabs, 68 

FobEyeb. 2 1 

SHORT ARTICLES. * 

SiNOiNO or Swans, 52 1 Austblan Anxieties, .64 



NEW BOOKS: 
THE DESTROYER OP THE SECOND REPUBLIC, Beino Napoleon the Littlb. By 

YicTOB Htraa AWo York : Sheldon 4> Co, 
WITH FATE AGAINST HIiM. By Amanda M. Douglas. JVew York: Sheldon 4- Co. 
THE SHADOW OF MOLOCH MOUNTAIN. By J. G. Austin. JVVto York: Sheldon * Co, 



NuMBEBS or THE LiviNG Age Wanted. The publishers are in want of Nos. 1179 and 
1180 (dated respectively Jan. 5th and Jan. 12th, 1867) of The Living Age. To cubscribers, 
or others, who will do us the favor to send us either or both of those numbers, we will return an 
equivalent, either in our publications or in cash, until our wants are supplied. 



PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY 

LITTELL & GAY, BOSTON. 



TERMS OP SUBSCRIPTION. 
Fob Eight Dollabs, remitted dtrectly to the Publishers, the Ltvino Age will be pnnctaally for- 
warded for a jesa^JYee qfpostaae. But we do not prepay postage on less than a >ear, nor where we have 
to pay commission for forwarding the money. 

Price of the First Scries, in Cloth, 86 volomes, 90 dollars. 
" Second " " 20 " 60 " 

" «* Third " •' 82 " 80 " 

The Complete Work, 100 " 260 " 

Any Tolnme Bonnd, 8 dollars ; Unbound, 2 dollars. The sets, or volumes, will be sent at the expense 
of the pabUshers. 

PREMIUMS FOR CLUBS. 
For 6 new subscribers (MO.), a sixth copy; or a set of Hobhb's Intboduotiov to the Bible, un- 
abridged, in 4 large volumes, cloth, price SIO ; or any 6 of the back volumes of the Living Age. in num- 
bers, price SIO. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AHOKO THB FIBrTBEES, ETC. 



From Fnaer's Magailne. 
AMONG THE FIR-TREKS. 



Oh the bare hill-top, by the pin%wood*B edge, 

how jojooslj rang the noise 
Of the moan tain wind in the topmost boughs t a 

spell there was in its Yoioe. 
It drew me to leave the goodly sight of the 

plain sweeping fifcr away. 
And enter the solemnly shaded depths to hear 

what the trees would say. 



But no sooner I trod the msset floor than hushed 

were the magio tones; 
No stir bat the flight of a startled bird, no 

soand but my foot on the oones. 
All silently rose the stately shafts, kirtled with 

lichens fcnj^ 
And the sunlight-flakes on their reddening tops 

were as still and unmoved as they. 

m. 

Was it joy or dread that pressed my heart T I 

felt as one who must hear 
Some long-kept secret, and knows not as yet if 

it brAg him hope or fear; 
I stood as still as the solemn firs, and hearkened 

with waiting mind; 
Then I heard fiur away in the topmost boughs 

the eternal sough of the wind. 

IV. 

And the thrill of that mystic murmur so entered 

my listening heart. 
That the very sou of the forest trees became 

with my soal a part; 
I seemed to be raised and borne aloft in that 

eyer-ascending strain. 
With a throb too solemn and deAp for Joy, too 

perfect and pure fbr pain. 



Many voioes there are in Nature's choir, and 

none but were good to hear 
Had we mastered the laws of their music well, 

and could read their meaning clear; 
But we who can fieel at Nature's touch cannot 

think as yet with her thought. 
And I only know that the sough of the firs with 

a spell of its own is firsught 

VI. 

For the wind when it howls In the chimneys at 

night hath the heavy and dreary sound 
Of the dull everksting treadmill of life which 

goes so wearily round ; 
And the choirs of waves on the long-drawn 

sands, too well I hear in their strain 
The throb of our human angnish deep, where 

trhimph wrestles with pain. 



VII. 

But neither passion nor sorrow I hear In this 

rhythmic steady course. 
Only the movement resistless and strong of some 

all-pervading force; 
The one universal life which moves the whole of 

the outward plan. 
Which throbs in winds, and waters, and flowers, 

in insect, and bird, and man. 

vni. 

would that the unknown finer touch which 

makes us other than those. 
Did not hold us so far asunder in soul fh>m 

thdr harmony and repose! 
The sellbame fountain doth life and growth to us 

and to them impart. 
But only at moments we taste and know the 

peace which is Naturo*s heart. 



And yet it may be that long, long hence, when 

aeons of effort have pass*d. 
We shall come, not blindly impelled, but firee, 

to the orbit of order at last. 
And a finer peace shall be wrought out of pain 

than the stars in their courses know! — 
Ah me! but my soul is in sorrow till then, and 

the feet of the years aro sk>w! 



FOR EVER. 



Foe ever and ever the reddening leaves 

Float to the sodden grasses. 
For ever and ever the shivering trees 
Cower and shrink to the chilling bfeeie. 
That sweeps fh)m the far off sullen seas. 

To wither them as it passes. 

For ever and ever the low gr^ sky 

Stoops o*er the sorrowful earth. 
For ever and ever the steady rain 
Falls on baro bleak hill, and barren plain. 
And flashes on roof and window pane, 

And hisses upon the hearth. 
For ever and ever the weary thoughts 

Aro tracing the selfsame track. 
For ever and ever, to and tro. 
On the old unchanging road they go. 
Through dreaming and waking, through joj 
and woe. 

Calling the dead hours back. 

For ever and ever the tired heart 

Ponders o*er evil done. 
For ever and ever through doud and gleam. 
Tracing the course of the strong life stroam, 
And dreary and dull as the broken dream. 

For ever the rain rains on. 

All the Year Round. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OP SHELLEY. 



8 



Prom The North British Berlew. 
THE POKMS OF 6H£LL£T. 

Apteb all that has been written about 
Shelley, his personality is still a riddle; 
he is the only one of that group of great 
poets which adorned the first quarter of 
the nineteenth century in England, whose 
life is too unaccountable to throw light 
upon his writings. Even Byron, whose 
reputation has been so much debated, is 
really less perplexing. Of him we know 
enough at any rate to discuss; there is 
evidence to support a theory. Whenever 
Shelley's life comes to be written, the 
evidence will be of a different kind ; many 
minute circumstances will have to be 
accumulated, many inconspicuous habits 
will have to be established, before we shall 
be able to understand the impression 
which he made upon all or almost all who 
lived with him. While we have to look at 
his life in outline, many things seem 
strange, grotesque, irrational ; some ap- 
pear positively repulsive ; there is an in- 
explicable medley of loftiness and petti- 
ness, of shrewdness and childishness, of 
self-devotion and self-indulgence. It is 
impossible upon such data to entertain 
the question — with which Mr. Rossetti 
sums up the biography prefixed to his edi- 
tion of his poems — whether Shelley the 
man was worthy to be Shelley the poet, 
or to ascertain by what standard he de- 
sired to be tried, or by what standard we 
ought to try him. We cannot ascertain, 
with the materials before us, what was 
the charm of manner and of character 
which made it possible for so many good 
judges not only to love but to esteem a 
man whose organization was certainly 
diseased, whose habits were full of eccen- 
tricities, some of them unpleasing, and 
whose conduct was more than once incom- 
patible with any theory of what was due 
to others. Perhaps, as a provisional theo- 
ry, it would be most reasonable to con- 
ceive Shelley as something of a patrician 
Rousseau; there was the same abstract 
and ideal benevolence, the same tendency 
to find self-pity the choicest of luxuries, 
the same susceptibility to fanciful dangers 
and imaginary wrongs, the same neglect 
in the discharge of trifling obligations, the 
same impatience of ordinary social conven- 



tions. It is hardly unfair to Shelley to 
connect his great and undeniable superior- 
ity to Rousseau with the fact that one was 
an aristocrat bom and bred, and the other 
a bourgeois bom and bred. Much of 
Rousseau's sordid sensuality is the natural 
exuberance of keen and overwrought feel- 
ings in a nature never trained to refine- 
ment by any early influence, and including 
coarse fibres of its own. His insane jeal- 
ousies, his ferocious ingratitude, inexcusa- 
ble as they were, are only too like what 
might have been expected firom a man of 
the people, with an hysterical tempera- 
ment, whose eloquent writings had given 
him a precarious hold upon an aristocratio 
society. It would be ui^ust to forget or 
to depreciate Shelley's practical and habit- 
ual generosity ; and to say that fireehand- 
edness is an aristocratic virtue is not a re- 
flection on Shelley, but a compliment to 
aristocracies. 

It is certainly impossible to separate 
Shelley's personality from his poetry, in 
the way in which Scott and Shakspeare 
can be separated from their writings. It 
has been said that Wordsworth could only 
represent three characters — Wordsworth 
at his best, and Wordsworth at his worst, 
and somebody else. Byron could embody 
no men, except his recollection of AU 
Pasha, thrown into different attitudes, and 
relieved against different backgrounds, 
and tinged more or less deeply with his 
own remorse. His women all ring the 
changes on '* the love of the vulture, the 
rage of the turtle ; " they are all sultanas, 
soft or furious as the case may be. Byron, 
however, was at any rate a master of local 
colour ; and his figures were never phan- 
toms, though they might sometimes seem 
-theatricaL But Shelley started with him- 
self in fairyland, instead of with a distorted 
and idealized projection of himself in^he 
Levant; he conceived poetry as embody- 
ing the highest moments of the highest 
minds ; he knew no mind except his own ; 
and he was certainly justified in ranking 
his own among the highest. His more 
ambitious poems are reflections of his 
aspirations: his lighter poems are refleo- 
tions of his moods and his droumstanoes. 
The " Adonais " and the ** Cend " are the 
only two considerable poems where the 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OP SHELLEY. 



writer dqes not inculcate his peculiar 
opinions, though he early discovered that 
the direct dogmatism of "Queen Mab" 
was hardly to be considered artistic. Still 
the "Revolt of Islam," "Prometheus Un- 
bound," "The Masque of Anarchy," are 
all thoroughly didactic; so are the frag- 
ments of two poems which would have 
been very elaborate if completed, " Prince 
Athanase" and the "Triumph of Life.' 
Even " Alastor " is made to inculcate the 
moral that an anti-social temperament is a 
curse which no genius, no purity, n© devo- 
tion, no benevolence, can defeat. "Ado- 
nais " itself, though it is not written for any 
opinion, is visibly written from opinions 
like the rest. Under these circumstances, 
Mr. Bossetti did well to bring together 
the scanty material for ascertaining Shel- 
ley's opinions. It is scarcely a paradox to 
say that his opinions are the harder to as- 
certain, from the great importance he 
attached to them. We have a great deal 
of fervour and comparatively little state- 
ment. Some vital change in the thoughts 
and actions of all mankind is indispensa- 
ble; the poet insists vehemently on the 
necessity and urgency of this, and the ben- 
efits to be expected from it; but the 
change itself remains obscure, owing to 
this very vehemence. Tyranny and super- 
stition are to be rooted up, and then — 

**Here the voice warbled and changed like a 
bird's. 
There was more of the mosio and less of the 
words.** 

This obscurity gives their value to the 
fragmentary prose treatises and to the re- 
maining records of Shelley's conversation ; 
they are the only sources for discovering 
what thoughts fed his desires. 

Perhaps the newest and certainly the 
most significant of Mr. Rossetti*s points, is 
the abiding influence of Berkeley on Shel- 
ley's speculations, which serves to explain, 
among other things, his habit of coupling 
Plato and Bacon as objects of admiration. 
He believed that those two great names 
belonged to kindred spirits ; and we find 
an adequate explanation of his position in 
the influence of Bishop Berkeley, who 
stood himself at the meeting-point of 
Greek idealism and English inductive 



psychology. As Shelley was at no time a 
systematic student, he naturally adopted 
only what suited him. In fact he speaks 
in 1820 of being already long convinced, 
in 1812, when Berkeley's works were bor- 
rowed for him, of the truth of Berkeley's 
aphorism : " The mind can create nothing, 
it can only perceive." This, of course, is 
inconsistent with Berkeley's systematic 
doctrine, that nothing can be said to exist 
except mind and its perceptions. For the 
Mind which, according to Berkeley, pre- 
sents to all other minds the ideas which 
they perceive, must surely be said qua 
mind to create; and this applies even to 
other minds, since they give existence to 
their objects by perceiving them. But 
this dualism is really more in harmony 
with Berkeley's original starting-point, 
and with the ordinary working of iAiQ 
human mind, than the conclusion which 
he actually adopted; and it may be an 
open question whether Shelley or Berke- 
ley is to blame for misrepresenting the 
central idea of Berkeley's philosophy. It 
was naturally impossible to Shelley, as a 
dualist, to be a theist in any ordinary 
sense. It was still more impossible for 
him to be a pantheist. But it may fairly 
be said that he conceived both mind and 
nature in a pantheistic way ; each was a 
force one in itself^ and manifold in its 
forms. Of course the individual soul 
could be no more than one of the forms of 
universal mind ; and the question of per- 
sonal immortality becomes one of very sub- 
ordinate importance. Mind and nature 
are imperishable through all their difler- 
ent transformations ; and Shelley believed 
that their transformations were, upon the 
whole, stages of an assured and illimit- 
able though not uninterrupted progress. 
Whether any of the forms of mind, any 
parts of the universal intellect (Shelley 
seems not to have decided between these 
alternative metaphors, though each is a 
theory) can preserve a permanent and 
continuous existence, was not an import- 
ant question to one so gregarious as Shel- 
ley in his dreams of happiness. When the 
good time came, when all space overflowed 
with the simple glee of universal brother- 
hood, it would matter little if one of the 
blessed should be able to recollect that he 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OP SHELLET. 



had Bung and panted and sobbed for it in 
days when all men were not yet brothers, 
and when many men were imhappy. As 
his wishes were not too deeply interested, 
he was able to estimate calmly how little 
evidence there was for answering the 
question so stated; he was content to 
have some hopes and no fears, and to be- 
lieve that the country beyond the grave 
was not foreign to men's interests or de- 
sires. It is difficult to believe that this in- 
difference to questions aloof from his keen- 
est feelings would not have disqualified 
him as a metaphysician, though he had un- 
deniable metaphysical talent. Both his 
imagination and his intellect were admi- 
rably fitted to deal with abstractions ; and 
DO reader of " Queen Mab " and ** Peter 
Bell " can deny his great dialectical acute- 
ness. It was natural that one so gifted 
should have hesitated as to his way, espe- 
cially as at an early age it seems more im- 
portant to an intelligent person to have 
grasped neglected truth than to have pro- 
duced immature poetry. If Shelley erred 
in the matter he may protect himself by 
the authority of Goethe, who, after com- 
pleting his greatest poem, in the height of 
his poetical reputation, regretted that he 
had not devoted himself to physical sci- 
ence. It is true that Goethe did make 
discoveries in physics, which Shelley did 
not make in metaphysics ; but Shelley in 
his lifetime was never appreciated as a 
poet, and might be pardoned for forget- 
ting that his imagination was too luxu- 
riant and his intellect too impatient for a 
metaphysician. 

This intellectual impatience was the 
chief reason t&at Shelley's protests against 
the political injustice of his time feH flat 
upon the public ear. A political theory 
always requires an historical theory to 
back it ; and Shelley was too impatient of 
history ever to have an historical theory. 
It would be uigust to say that he had no 
political instinct ; he perceived before most 
Englishmen of his day how much force 
lay in the simple expression of the will of 
large popular masses, even when they had 
no constitutional means of enforcing that 
will, and abstained from tangible threats 
of extra-constitutional action. As his fas- 
tidious humanity repudiated the violent 



means by which all previous revolutions, 
good or bad, had been effected, the merit 
of the discovery must be divided between 
his head and his heart. The same delicate 
philanthropy made it possible for men like 
Medwin to claim Shelley's acquiescence as 
a support for their own prudent modera- 
tion, though there is no reason to think 
that he ever wavered in his adhesion to 
his own absolute theories, however he may 
have been perplexed as to their peaceful 
application. 

The same incuriousness of a mind whose 
activity was uncertain and capricious had 
its effect on Shelley's views on art. It can 
scarcely be thought that when he joined 
in eulogizing the ideal beauty of Guido, 
and the Titanic sublimity of Salvator 
Rosa, he only exhibited the docility of un- 
trained enthusiasm. Unintelligent admi- 
ration of Michel Angelo was enforced by a 
much stronger tradition ; and yet Shelley 
judged him with absolute independence, 
in fact with something like summary con- 
tempt. Like Gibson, he was repelled by 
the prodigality of visible effort in his most 
magnificent works, and was at one time 
inclined to relegate him to death and hell 
to seek appropriate subjects. K he ad- 
mired Guido and Salvator without reserve, 
it was because they suited him. To critics 
for whom the end of art is art as truth \ 
those artists may reasonably appear empty 
and showy and subjective ; but Shelley 
thought the end of art and nature was to 
feed human emotion. Guido ministers 
abundantly to two favourite emotions of 
Shelley's — ecstatic reverie and sentimental 
self-duty. The graceful gladness of the 
" Aurora " ministers to an emotion which 
he prized even more, because it was less 
familiar. The fantastic gloom, the fever- 
ish passion, the vindictive energy of Salva- 
tor are the expression of a feeling too gen- 
uine not to be sometimes contagious, even 
when too visibly displayed for effect. 
Shelley was not a man to reject such at- 
tractions because they appeared in a de- 
based school during a period of artistic 
decline. All critical classifications were 
odious to him, partly because he did not 
understand them, partly because he saw 
beyond them. Nothing about him is 
more remarkable than the combination of 



Digitized by 



Googk 



6 



THE POEMS OF SHELLEY. 



extreme exclusiveness of opinion with the 
widest inclusivenesB of taste. There is 
not a word in his writings from which it 
could be gathered that he believed Juda- 
ism to have conferred a single service 
upon humanity ; but he was imreserved in 
his admiration for the poetry of the Old 
Testament. There is nothing to show 
that he sympathized with any single as- 
pect of Catholicism, except perhaps with 
the cultu3 of the Blessed virgin ; ne cer- 
tainly detested its hierarchical organiza- 
tion with his whole strength ; and not the 
least reason for his detestation was that the 
Catholic hierarchy gave a willing support 
to the monarchies of the counter reforma- 
tion and the counter revolution. Yet he 
was the first to introduce Calderon to the 
English public j and it never occurred to 
him to make any reserve in his praise of 
ike poet of^ the Inquisition. Even in 
iEschylus there was much to repel him; 
the father of Attic tragedy was orthodox, 
superstitious, and conservative. But 
Shelley speaks quite simply of his sub- 
limityi He instinctively separated other 
men's opinions from their poetry, though 
his own poetry was alwavs charged strong- 
ly with Ids opinions. Perhaps he was at- 
tracted to ^schylus and Calderon by an 
affinity of genius. With less robustness 
of nature, he had the same enjoyment as 
jSschylus in* piling up grandiose thoughts, 
sigantic images, and sonorous diction ; he 
18 iGschylean wherever he is classical in 
his wonderful "Prometheus Unbound." 
His affinity to Calderon is remoter, per- 
haps deeper. His music is infinitely more 
manifold and subtle ; his imagery is even 
more profuse; he has nothing of Calde- 
ron's sunny clearness and serenity. But 
he has very much in common with his 
naked mysticism. The " Sensitive Plant " 
shows that he possessed in perfection Cal- 
deron's gift of stimulating and baffling the 
imagination and the intellect, not by 
conceptions too vast to be adequate, 
or by symbols too significant to be fixed, 
but by the most concrete and simple 
images. 

The influence of JSschylus and Calderon 
belongs to the period when Shelley had 
decided that poetry was upon the whole to 
be his work in life, and deliberately edu- 
cated himself for it, as Mrs. Shelley has 
informed us. In his earlier writings he 
was influenced by much less distinguished 
names. There is no poet whose point of 
departure can be fixed more clearly. It is 
significant that he should have been at- 
tracted at first by artists so inferior to 
himself as Moore and G. M. Lewis, and 



have adopted from Southey the metre of 
his first considerable work. Wordsworth 
began as a continuator of Cowper, and be- 
came original by heightening and deepen- 
ing his tone immeasurably, rather than by 
chanmng his direction. Scott began with 
the baUads of the Border, and with the 
German imitations of them ; his first con- 
siderable poem borrowed its form from 
the " Christabel " of Coleridge, perhaps the 
most inventive and the least productive of 
that great group of contemporaries. By- 
ron began with the wit and the pathos of 
the eighteenth century : his Turkish Tales 
are visibly suggested by Scott, though they 
eclipsed his popularity. Keats began by re- 
producing and exaggerating the sensuous 
Erofusion of one side of Elizabethan art ; 
e continued till the end assimilating and 
reproducing the tone of one period after 
another, and enriching each with the com- 
plexity and intensity of a thoroughly mod- 
em mind. All these great poets valued 
the writers of whose tendencies their first 
attempts were a continuation for the posi- 
tive worth of their results, which served 
for a time to satisfy both their imagination 
and their intellect. Shelley, it is obvious, 
followed a different course. When he 
chose to exercise it, his critical faculty was 
keen, sound, and subtle ; but his instinctive 
preferences were independent of his critical 
faculty. What he sought spontaneously • 
and found in Lewis and Moore was not a 
satis&ction, but a stimulus. Nothing of 
Lewis's, and little of Moore's, is satisfac- 
tory in the sense that it will bear to be 
contemplated calmlv ; but to keen feelings, 
that require the relief of expression, each 
of them is all that need be desired. Shel- 
ley's natural motives in poetry were horror 
and tenderness. As almost all that he im- 
agined was imagined for these moods, it 
was natural that he should imitate Lewis 
and Moore in the Early Poems, such as 
"Mutability," and "Stanzas, AprU 1814." 
The last of these, without a single verbal 
imitation, recalls Moore at his very best, 
with his utmost subtlety of feeling and 
rhythm : — 

*< The doad shadows of midnight possess their 
own repose, 
For the weary winds are silent and the moon 
is in the deep, 
Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean 
knows; 
Whatever moves, or toils, or grieves, hath 
its appointed sleep. 
Thou in the grave shalt rest — yet till the 
phantoms flee 
Which that house and heath and garden 
made dear to thee erewhile. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OF SHELLEY. 



Thj remembraiioe, and repentanoe, and deep 
mosings, are not free 
From Ihe masic of two ▼oioes, and the light 
of one Bweet smile." 

The stanzas on " Death " are even more re- 
markable, for they represent a yisible 
transition of manner. 

** The pale, the oold, and the moony smile 
Which the meteor-beam of a starless night 
Sheds on a lonely and sea-girt isle, 
Ere the dawning of mom*s nndoubted 
Hght," 

is Moore at his best. But the two lines 
that complete the stanza are too deep and 
too sad for him; and the poem passes 
tiiroQgh boyish stoidsm into such cnarac- 
teristic utterances as 

*< This world is the nurse of all we know; 
This world is the mother of all we feel; *' 

and 

** Who telleth a tale of unspeaking death? 
Who lifteth the veil of what is to come T 
Who painteth the shadows that are beneath 
The wide-wioding caves of the peopled 
tomb?" 

It is more difficult to account for the in- 
fluence of Southey, with whom in reality 
Shelley had scarcely anything in common, 
except that Southey had once been an ad- 
mirer of the French Revolution. What 
had been merely the fever of youth with 
Southey, was the passion of life with 
Shelley. Perhaps the same may be said 
of their poetry as of their politics. Southey 
was a man of letters, who had written 
poems, and only needed encouragement to 
make him rise early and write more before 
he began the day's work. Shelley was a 
poet. Probably he was attracted by 
Southey's stoicism, as he was attracted 
by the apparent force and repose of God- 
win; and besides, the remoteness and 
ideality of ** Thalaba,'' might seem to ex- 

Eress an ambition akin to ms own. '* Tha- 
kba'' is the only poem offSouthey's 
which he seems to have valued; and his 
admiration of this is a proof of the great 
importance he assigned to intention in 
poetry. Much of the elevation of '* Tha- 
laba ** is conventional ; much of its fluency 
is mechanical; but its intention, though 
oveiwlidactic, is really rare and admirable ; 
and Shelley's own inspiration and enthu- 
siasm threw a glow over what interested 
him, which more than sufficed to cover 
such defects of execi»tion. 

^ Queen Mab *' is the only poem written 
in the unrhymed, lyrical iamoic metre of 
^'Thalaba." The only diflerenoe ia that 



Shelley, trusting to his own sense of melo- 
dy, continues the movement of each stanza 
longer, and is less careful to vary the 
length of line ; in fact, the latter part is 
mostly written in blank verse, with an oc- 
casional octosyllabic at the beginning or 
end of a paragraph. In this didactic poem 
he is as uncompromising as Lucretius or 
Parmenides in his intention to teach, so that 
it can hardly be appraised, like the Georgics, 
by its beauties. It must be judged by 
the poetical value of the view of the uni- 
verse which it inculcates, and of the ma- 
chinery which is used to inculcate it. 
Though it was completed before the au- 
thor was twenty-one, the machinery is al- 
ready worthy of him. The evocation of 
lanthe's spirit firom her body, and the ap- 
parition of the fairy car, are fiill of Uie 
ghostly moonlit beauty that was after- 
wards to find a more complete expression 
in '< Marianne's Dream " and " Epipsychi- 
dion." The exposition of the past, ti^e 
present, and the future might have been 
very impressive if the writer had been ca- 
pable of conceiving any organic unity 
whatever ; but in Shelley's mind eauality 
and fraternity excluded all possibility of 
subordination, and consequently of organi- 
zation. Hence the grandeur of the uni- 
verse disappears in a vague immensity of 
noise and emptiness ; and the visions of 
endless progress simply dazzle without 
satisfymg, because progress is measured 
not by its approximation to a higher stand- 
ard of positive perfection, but by the num- 
ber of the restnctions that are surmount- 
ed, and by the errors that are left behind. 
In fact, an historical view of human so- 
ciety was a curious enterprise for such a 
thoroughly unhistorical mind ; even a sci- 
entific hierarchy was inconceivable to a 
spirit that was constantly seeking refuge 
in nature from the littleness and degracui- 
tion of man. With Shelley as with Bacon, 
the glory of man was simply to be ** na- 
turae minister et interpres," not to be him- 
self the highest product of her forces, the 
clearest expression of her laws. But Ba- 
con looked forward to the time when man 
would conauer nature by understanding 
her, and subdue her into an order which 
would work more easily and securely while 
becoming more complex: Shelley looked 
for the reward of mtelligent obedience, 
not in the subjugation of nature, but in the 
emancipation of man. Bacon expected 
that a clearer knowledge would enable 
men to indulge in superfluities acquired 
without disproportionate effort: Shelley 
expected that a clearer knowledge would 
deliver men from their desire of superflu- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



8 



THE POBHS OP SHELLEY, 



ities, and from all the painfiil complicar 
tions it involves, without the pain of self- 
denial. Bacon's ideal was a progressive 
civilization: Shelley's was the Satnmian 
age, a perpetual vegetarian picnic for the 
body, and endless expansion of fraternity 
for the mind. To him the philosophy of 
history is simply the explanation of the 
mistakes which have hitherto rendered this 
simple and rational felicity impossible, and 
philosophy itself has only to explain its 
conditions, which, when stated, are almost 
self-evident. A development is affirmed, 
indeed, throujBch which spirits are com- 
pelled to pass in order to nt them to share 
the ecstasies of this rudimentary paradox ; 
but very little is done to show in what 
this development consists. Even its ne- 
cessity is not very apparent ; for an impid- 
sive happiness and a spontaneous virtue 
have little to gain by a conflict with evil, 
though such a conflict is necessary to 
strengthen the sense of duty, an idea which 
has no natural place in the ethics of 
** Queen Mab." But it was indispensable 
to vindicate the beneficence of Necessity, 
the mother of the world. 

A poem which is conscientiously sacri- 
ficed to the exposition of a theory cannot 
be very poetical ; and in this case the phi- 
losophy is about on a par with the poetry. 
Very often a passage which might be 
beautiful is marred because the writer is 
eager to stoop to truth and moralize his 
song. 

*< There was a little light 
That twinkled in the misty distance: 

None but a spirit's eye 

Might ken that rolling orb; 

None but a spirit's eye. 

And in no other plaoe 
Bat that celestial dwdling, might behold 
Each action of this earth's inhabitants." 

This is a high fancy worthily expressed ; 
but the writer goes on to be didactic : 

'* Bat matter, space and time. 
In those aerial mansions cease to act; 
And all-preyairmg wisdom, when it reaps 
The harvest of its excellence, o'erboands 
Those obstacles of which an earthly soul 
Fears to attempt the conquest" 

Could anything be colder ? 

** How beaatifdl this night! The balmiest sigh 
Which vernal xephyrs breathe in evening's 

ear 
Were discord to the speaking quietade y 
That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's 

ebon vault 
Stndded with stars unutterably bright. 
Through which the moon's unckmded gran- 

deur rolls. 



Seems like a canopy which love has spread 
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle 

hills. 
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow, 
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend. 
So stainless that their white and glittering 

spires 
Tinge not the moon's pure beam, yon castled 

steep. 
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn 

tower 
So idly that rapt fancy deemeth it 
A metaphor of peace — " 

In the way of mere description nothing 
could be more beautiful ; but it has to be 
utilized : — 

** all form a scene 
Where musing solitude may love to lift 
Her soul above this sphere of earthlinees; 
Where silence undisturbed might watch alone. 
So cold, so bright, so stilL" 

The last hemistich redeems it as a de- 
scription ; but after all it has been of little 
use. Even Ahasuerus is introduced rather 
coldly as 

** a wondrous phantom from the depths 
Of human error's dense and purblind fitith." 

It is proverbially difficult to manage the 
supernatural when half-believed; but in 
"rrometheus Unbound" the same diffi- 
culty is overcome in dealing with the phan- 
tasm of Jupiter; and in "Hellas" the 
difficulty has disappeared, for Ahasuerus 
is allowed to appear to Mahmud without 
any impertinent speculation as to whether 
he belonged to history or mythology. 
Even in ** Queen Mab " his appearance is 
impressive when he is allowea to come; 
and his criticism of reveled religion is 
quite eoual for incisiveness and thorough- 
ness to Milton's criticism of Athenian civil- 
ization in Paradise Regained. Only Milton 
is more impartial ; he admits a statement 
of its bright side too, though it is put into 
the mout£ of the tempter. The cnaracter 
of Ahasuerus is of course only a sketch, 
based more or less consciously on Milton's 
Satan, and already containing a prophecy 
of " Prometheus Unbound." 

** Thus have I stood — through a "wild waste of 

years 
Struggling with whirlwinds of mad agony. 
Yet peaceful, and serene, and self-enshrined, 
Mocking my powerless tyrant's horrible curse 
With stubborn and unalterable will, 
Even as a giant oak, which heaven's fierce 

flame 
Had scathed in the wilderness, to stand 
A monument of fadeless ruin there; 
Yet peaoefoUy and movelessly it braves 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OF SHELLEY. 



9 



Themidnight conflict of the wintry storm. 
As in the sunlight's calm it spreads 
Its torn and withered arms on high 
To meet the quiet of a summer's noon.'* 
The influence of " Thalaba " did not ex- 
haust itself with the completion of " Queen 
Mab." We have Mrs. Shelley's authority 
for the statement that Thalaba's voyagQ 
suggested Alastor's, though Mr. Rossetti 
is probably right in supposing that Shel- 
ley's own experience of river scenery on 
the Rhine was not without its influence. 
Even apart from this circumstance the 
poem is ceri^nly personal. It was written 
when Shelley thought he was dyin^; and 
it contains the thoughts with which he 
reconciled hia imagination to the idea of 
death. It is the first poem in which his 
characteristics appear in their perfection of 
richness if not yet in their perfection of 
unity and intensity. It is full of beauties ; 
indeed it is made up of them. One cannot 
see the poem for uie poetry. In one re- 
spect this is fortunate ; for the story is 
sUght and the subject too sentimental, it 
might almost be said too mawkish, to be 
very interesting. Both the invocation and 
the valediction are on the full scale of the 
epic, both in extent and mwesty ; and to- 
gether they occupy more than an eighth 
of the poem, while the separable comments 
certwnly occupy as much more. The story 
is soon told : — A poet who has had all the 
experience of travel and education which 
Shelley would have wished to have, has 
had a vision of one who combines all that 
Shelley would have wished to desire or 
possess in the way of female loveliness ; he 
pursues it ; and he dies in the pursuit. 

The poem itself is not long ; but a com- 
mentary might be voluminous without e^ 
hausting the analysis of its complex and 
varied sweetness. The peculiar charm, the 
independent inspiration of Shelley's own 
genius are unmistakable abready ; but 
they do not yet appear alone; they are 
blended with all manner of reminiscences 
of elder poets, some clear and deliberate, 
others fugitive and evanescent. The exor- 
dium is marvellously like and unhke m- 
ton. The proud self-consciousness of the 
poet's enumeration of his g[ualificatioii6 for 
his task is quite in the spirit of the great 
Puritan ; but the details and the feeling of 
the invocation contrast vividly with the 
severity of the framework. One might 
fancy that Milton had impressed SheUey 
through Wordsworth, whose « Excursion ^^ 
appeared about a year before " Alastor; 
but if the solemnity is Uke him the tender- 
ness and the abandon are not. He might 
have written: 



' If our great mother have imbued my soul 
With aught of natural piety to feel 
Tour lo?6, and recompense the boon with 
mine;" 

or: 

« If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast 
I consciously have injured, but still loved 
And cherished these my kindred; — then for- 
give 
This boast, beloved brethren, and withdraw 
No portion of your wonted favour now ! " 

But he could hardly have written : 

"If spring's Voluptuous pantings, when she 
breathes 
Her first sweet kisses, have been dear to me." 

There is a distincter echo of Milton in 

*< The secret caves, 
Rugged and dark, winding among the springs. 
Of fire and poison, inaccessible 
To avarice or pride, their starry domes 
Of diamond and of gold expand above 
Numberless and immeasurable halls. 
Frequent with crystal column, and clear shrines 
Of pearl, and thrones radiant with chrysolite." 

And there is all Milton's art in the juxta- 
position of proper names in : 

** Athens, and Tyre, and Balbeo, and the waste 
Where stood Jerusalem, the fallen towers 
Of Babylon, the eternal pyramids, 
Memphis and Thebes, and whatsoe'er of 

strange 
Sculptured on alabaster obelisk. 
Or jasper tomb, or mutilated sphynx. 
Dark Ethiopia on her desert hills 
Conceals." 

And again in : 

" Through Arable 
And Persia, and the wild Carmanian waste. 
And o'er^he aerial mountains which pour down 
Indus ana Oxus from their icy caves." 

The first paragraph of the story does not 
recall any single manner, and yet recalls 
too much of previous literature to be ac- 
cepted as a perfecUy individual and inde- 
pendent embodiment of original thoughts 
m an original style, such as Shelley subse- 
quently attained. It would be nearest to 
the truth to say that the imagery and ver- 
sification resemble, while they surpass, the 
imagery and versification of the poets of 
the eighteenth century, who endeavoured, 
more or less consciously and successfully, 
to recover the tone of the ** Elizabethan 
Age." There is even a touch of the Vicar 
of Wakefield in: 

** He has bought 
With his sweet voice and eyes from savage men 
His leet and food." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



10 



THE POEMS OF SHELLEY. 



The following extract is a deeper echo of 
the eighteenth century, but of eighteenth 
century reminiscences of the past : — 

«0 storm of Death! 
Whose sightless speed diyides this sullen night! 
And thou, colossal skeleton, that, still 
Guiding its irresistible career 
In thy devastating oomipotenoe. 
Art king of this frail world, /rom the red field 
^slaughter, from the reeking hospital. 
The pcUrioVe sacred couch, the snowy bed 
Of innocence, the scaffold and the throne, 
A mighty voice invokes thee! Ruin calls 
His brother Death! A rare and »gal prey 
He hath prepared, prowling around the wot Id; 
Glutted with which thou may'st repose, and men 
Go to their graves like flowers or creeping 

worms. 
Nor ever offer more at thy dark shrine 
The unheeded tribute of a broken heart". 

This is the sublime of Youn^ and Pollok 
and Akenside ; it is the subhme they de- 
sired, but could not attain. The following 
extract may serve as a specimen of eigh- 
teenth century proAmdity : — 

« Now on the polished stones 
It danced like childhood laughing as it went: 
Then, through the plain in tranquil winderings 

crept. 
Reflecting every herb and drooping bud 
That overhang its quietness. O stream 
Whose source is inaco^ibly profound. 
Whither do Uiy mysterious waters tend? 
Thou imagest my life^ Thy darksome stillness. 
Thy dazzling waves, thy loud and hollow gulfs. 
Thy sear chless fountain, and invisible course 
Have each their type in me.'* 

Of coume these resemblances are not 
alleged to suggest any doubt of Shelley's 
literary independence ; for he was morein- 
depenaent than any of his contemporaries, 
except Wordsworth, and, perhaps, Cole- 
ridge and Scott. In fact, except when he 
resembles Milton or Wordsworth, he is so 
decidedly superior to his predecessors that 
we should tJmost hesitate to acknowledge 
their influence if he had been as exclusive in 
his sympathies as he was refined in produc- 
tion. Our last extract from " Alastor " is 
in Shelley's own unique and distinctive 
manner. 

** Roused by the shock, he started from his 

trance — 
The cold white light of morning, the blue 

moon 
Low in the west, the clear and garish hills. 
The distinct valley and the vacant woods, 
Spread round him where he stood. Whither 

have fled 
The hues of heaven that canopied his bower 
Of yesternight 7 the sounds that soothed his 

sleep. 



The mystery and the majes^ of earth. 
The joy, the exultation 7 His wan eyes 
Gaze on the empty scene as vacantly 
As ocean's moon looks on the moon in heaven. 
The spirit of sweet human love has sent 
A vision to the sleep of him who spumed 
Her choicest gifts.* He eagerly pursues 
Beyond the realms of dream that fleeting 

shade; 
He overleaps the bounds. Alas! alas! 
Were limbs and breath and being intertwined 
Thus treacherously 7 Lost, lost, for ever lost 
In the wide pathless desert of dim sleep. 
That beautiful shape! Does the dark gate of 

death * 
Conduct to thy mysterious paradise, 
O Sleep 7 Does the bright arch of rainbow 

clouds. 
And pendent mountains seen in the calm lake, 
Lead only to a black and watery depth. 
While death's blue vault with loathliest va- 
pours hung, 
Where every s^ftde which the foul grave ex- 
hales 
Hides its dead eye from the deserted day. 
Conduct, O Sleep, to thy delightful realms? 

Here is the very essence of Shelley — a 
delicious imagination in the service of a 
feverish unearthly reverie. The landscape, 
the feeling, the melody of the versification, 
all combine in one impression of shivering 
loneliness. There is nothing of the pan 
thetic fallacy in the description of the land- 
scape ; and there is nothing of the otiose 
luxuriance which we find eliewhere in this 
and later j)oems. Not a single ima^e is in- 
troduced simply because it is beautiful, not 
a single epithet is falsified in order to make 
"mute Nature mourn her worshipper." 
The aspect of outwiurd things is maae to 
reflect the temper of Alastor, because it 
has been made to fashion it ; or rather we 
are made to feel that the unity between 
the scene and the spectator is deeper than 
consciousness, too deep for sentiment. 
And the fervour of th? passage is on a par 
with its remoteness, its truth, and its 
subtlety. Even when it is remembered 
that Shelley was Alastor, it is wonderful 
that he should have thrown himself with 
such eagerness into the imaginary sorrows 
of an imaginary being. It must be admit- 
ted, if we feel for Alastor at all, that his 
airy trouble leaves both the poet and the 
reader less calm than the substantial afiiic- 
tion of Elaine. Even when he had finished 
" Alastor," Shelley did not at once throw 
oflf the tender brooding depression which 
the thought of early death had left upon 



* Apparently the Anb't daoKhter, who idolizes 
Alastor, and waits upon him in tho d(>sert. and is 
olearly taken fbr temporary om flrom ThalatML 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THB POBMS OF SHELLEY. 



11 



him. The poems wriUen in 1816 indude 
a lovely little set of ycrses called <* The 
Sunset," which resumes the situation of 
** Alastor " from a simpler point of view. 
This time the poet dies of his own genius, 
and is parted from one lady whom he has 
already found ; and the interest of the 
poem which, within it^ narrow limits, is far 
more complete and satisfactory than its 
predecessor, lies in her patient and rever- 
ent sorrow. The same source of interest 
is touched once more in the introductory 
canto of the "Revolt of Islam,*' where 
Cythna writes how 

** A dying poet gave me books, and blest 
With wild but holy talk the sweet unrest 

In w^ioh I watched him as he died away — 
A youth with hoary hair — a fleeting guest 
Of our lone mountains.'* 

The two other poems, written in 1816, are 
less interesting. " Mont Blanc '* has all 
Shelley's pomp and splendour of language, 
and it must be added that, like manv of 
his writings, it combines a visible intellect- 
ual ambition with an unmistakable pov- 
erty of thought. 

** The ererlastiDg aniverse ef things 

flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid 
waves. 
Now dark — now glittering — now re- 
flecting gloom — 
Now lending splendour, where from secret 

springs 
The source of human thought its tribute 
jbrings 
Of waters — with a sound but half its 
own. 
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume 
In the wild woods, among the mountains 
lone. 
Where waterfklls around it leap for ever. 
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast 
river 
Over its rocks oeaeelessly bursts and raves." 

This is meant to be splendid; and it is 
splendid. K it were not meant to be pro- 
found, it would hardly suggest " a tale of 
little meaning though the words are 
strong." And so the the torrent of elo- 
quent imagery rolls on. The magnificent 
scenery of Mont Blanc is magnificently de- 
scribea. Even a captious critic would 
scarcely venture to object to a superfluity 
of metaphor, if metaphors and descriptions 
were not pompously employed to point the 
empty moral that it is wonderful that na- 
ture should affect the human mind; nor 
is the barren grandiloquence of the poem 
as a whole really redeemed by the bril- 
liant Berkeleian paradox which is placed 
at the end to do duty as a thought. The 
** Hymn to Intellectual Beauty " is solemn 



and sweet, but too visiblv didactic; and 
there is something of pedantry and ego- 
tism in the way in which SheUey insists 
upon his fidelity in propagating the wor- 
ship of an unfruitfru and rather uninter- . 
estmg abstraction. 

His next considerable work will long be 
memorable as the most magnificent fail- 
ure in the English language, if at least 
posterity retains the piety which has hith- 
erto accepted Paradise Lost as a success. 
The *' Revolt of Islam " does not fail, like 
^^Endymion," because the author did not 
know what he intended to do, or because 
the performance came short of the inten- 
tion. From beginning to end there is no 
trace of immaturity or incompleteness or 
inequidity. The subject is completely ex- 
hibited ; and the medium of exhibition is 
uniformly rich and appropriately varied. 
But the subject is absurd; and the style 
harmonizes with its absurdity. The poem, 
we are told, and it is easv to believe, was 
composed in little more than six months ; 
and that period was devoted to the task 
**with unremitting ardour and enthusi- 
asm," which was not wonderful, as the 
poem consists of five or six hundred Spen- 
serian stanzas, or between four and five 
thousand lines, and was produced by **a 
series of thoughts which fiUed " Shelley's 
" mind with unbounded and sustained en- 
thusiasm." He was quite right in re- ' 
sisting the temptation to correct it. No 
correction was ' po9sible f indeed, ^art 
from an occasional neglect of rh^e, no 
correction ^was ne^ssary. The poem 
was written when Shelley was smarting 
under the decision whieh aeprived him of 
the children of the wife from whom he 
had decided to part, and was harassed 
besides by the collisions with his own 
family, "to which his peculiar views of 
duty and liberty exposed him." He felt 
that he had a right to be indignant ; and he 
was too proud and too generous to express 
his indignation at individual grievances as 
they affected himself. Accordingly, he set 

I forth poetically an ideal representation of 
the prmciples of revolution and of order 

I — the order from which he suffered. With 
no visible literary motive, he took the 

I pains to outrage contemporary sentiment, 
by msUcing his orphan lovers brother and 
sister, as well as atheists and republicans. 
Of course, there is a play of Ford's and a 
play of Byron's which prove that the 
source of poetical interest to which he ap- 
pealed was very powerful ; but the appeal 
can scarcely have been very serious; the 
alteration and omission of fifty lines at 
most was sufficient to suppress all sign 



Digitized by 



Googk 



12 



THE POEMS OP SHELLEY. 



that it had been made. The story is simply 
childish. The population of European 
Turkey passes from slavery and degrada- 
tion to liberty and virtue, because a male 
and female enthusiast, both of whom com- 
placently relate the history of their own 
msanity, recover sufficiently to propagate 
the finest sentiments and convert every- 
body, including the Janizzaries and the 
Sultan, who is treated very respectfully on 
his abdication, and allowed as much pa- 
geantry as an Indian prince. A grand 
picnic is held to inaugurate the republic ; 
m the midst of the rejoicings, the troops 
of the coalition arrive, to the surprise of 
every one except the Sultan. Then a 
counter revolution of the Neapolitan type 
takes place. The hero and heroine escape 
together from its manifold horrors; but 
an inquisitor, who feels that there is more 
scope for his energies in Islam than in 
Christendom, takes advantage of a pesti- 
lence to preach the solidarity of persecu- 
tors, and extorts an edict that Laon and 
Cythna shall be burnt alive. Laon ap- 
pears in disguise before the Divan, and, 
after a last sermon on the blessings of 
toleration, gives himself up on condition 
that Cythna is sent safe to America. Of 
course she appears in time to insist upon 
sharing his fate. Her glorified spirit con- 
ducts Shelley in a magic boat to a magic 
island, after he has witnessed an exciting 
contest, which is beautifully describee^ 
between the eagle of despotism and 
the dragon of democracy, whose defeat 
is symbolical of the final collapse of 
the French revolution at Waterloo. There 
Laon relates their joint adventures, which, 
atheism and republicanism apart, are such 
stuff as children tell to one another when 
they lie awake in bed. It need not be 
stated that Shelley had the imagination of 
a man, but he set it to work not on his 
experience, but on his desires, as if he had 
been a child. Some of his desires were 
the direct product of his rare and delicate 
organization; and when his imagination 
was set to work upon them, he produced 
poems like "Alastor:" others were the 
product of his crude opinions and un- 
profitable sympathies ; and from these he 
produced poems like the " Revolt of Is- 
lam." He lived a double life. He was 
proud of one side of it ; the other he re- 
garded with a pity that was near akin to 
shame. He was gregarious in principle 
and a hermit in practice, a v^id humani- 
tarian who mistook moral declamation for 
philosophical poetry, and an inspired soli- 
tary whose sick fancies crystallized into 
priceless jewels. 



I ** Rosalind and Helen " is a poem of a 
kind which is not common in Shelley's 
works. It is visibly an expression of his 
own experience; and for that reason he 
spoke of it contemptuously. He wrote it 
under the influence of a double sorrow. 
His children had been taken from him in 
the name of social orthodoxy ; his love had 
come into collision with the opinion of his 
countrymen upon marriage. His sorrow 
is idealized and divided between two ladies. 
Rosalind has given up Helen for her un- 
wedded love, and has to take shelter with 
her in Italy at the foot of the Spliigen, 
when her dead husband has taken her chil- 
dren from her by a slanderous will. The 
meeting of the destitute widows (for 
Helen's lover is dead, and has left her his 
all in vain), is thoroughly graceful and pa- 
thetic ; and there is sometning almost an- 
gelic in the calm with which Helen receives 
Rosalind's reproaches without meeting 
them or being numbled by them, and only 
replies by a soothing tenderness that has 
almost a touch of patronage. The delicacy 
of Helen's son, too, combines admirably 
with his boyish cheerfulness, and serves to 
prevent the poem becoming too lachrymose. 
To write such a poem does not require such 
a genius as Shelley. It stands upon a com- 
paratively low level ; and it is natural to 
regard it as the highest work of an inferior 
man. But when those allowances are made, 
it remains one of the most satisfactory 
poems of its class, one of the sweetest and 
most beautiful, and, abov^ all, the most 
natural ; there is nothine of that deliberate 
abstraction of manner, that artificial solem- 
nity of plainness, which is often found in 
idylls and dramatic lyrics of the present 
day. Shelley wrote of daily life just as ho 
wrote of what he considered to be ideal life 
— with easy freedom and abundant grace ; 
now people write of daily life because they 
fear that there is something unreal in writ- 
ing about anything else ; and, under such 
a sense of responsibility, there is sure to be 
something unnatural and uneasy in their 
way of looking at the subject they approve. 
Mrs. Shelley certainly deserved well of 
mankind in persuading her husband to con- 
quer his contemptuous disinclination to fin- 
ish '* Rosalind and Helen;" she deserved 
equally well in allowing him to leave 
"Prince Athanase" a Sragmeut. The 
scheme of the poem was an improvement 
u^n " Alastor. ' The hero was to be be- 
wildered by Aphrodite Fandemos through 
life, and only meet Aphrodite Urania m 
death ; but unfortunately, as the poem be- 
gan, it was more than doubtful whether the 
hero would have met even Fandemos. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OP SHELLEY. 



18 



When Shelley once began upon his history 
and personality, it was impossible for him 
to finish ; happily he had sense to perceive 
the danger of becoming morbid in " an at- 
tempt at excessive refinement and analy- 
sis. The weakness which he could suspect 
but not overcome is to be regretted ; for 
his theory of the seamy side of love might 
have been an addition to our knowledge of 
the subject, and would certainlv have been 
an addition to our knowledge oi the author. 
As it is, we are left to mi^e what we can 
of ^ Julian and Maddalo," on the whole the 
least interesting of his poems. It is a cUn- 
ical lecture on a madman who plays upon 
the piano, and has been deserted for unex- 
plained reasons by a lady of unexplained 
character. Maddalo, who is meant for By- 
ron, naturally thinks this unfortunate gen- 
tleman a case in point in support of pessi- 
mism ; Julian, who is Shelley, thinks that his 
misfortunes can be explained upon princi- 
ples of optimism. Of course the discussion 
isBometimos cbver, and the ravings are 
sometimes heart-rending; but the discussion 
is made hard and inconclusive, and the rav- 
ings give no glimpse of an ideal situation. 
It is chiefly valuable for the discreet and 
kindly appreciation of Bvron's character in 
the preface. It shows that Shelley under^ 
stood Byron better than Byron understood 
him ; and perhaps this might be taken for a 
note of Shelley s superiority, which Byron 
acknowledged without analyzing the vague 
homage. " If Shelley were appreciated, 
where should I be ? " is best understood as 
a confession that when Shelley did his best 
he aimed at something higher in kind and 
not only in degree; while it proves that 
Byron was too proud or too generous to 
remember that he did his best much more 
readily and certainly than Shelley, and that 
his second best was more satisfying than 
Shelley's, as well as more intelligible. 

" Prometheus Unbound " was written at 
Rome on the rich ruins of the Baths of 
Caracalla, after the writer had been revel- 
ling in the Italian opera and the ballet in 
London. Besides these influences of cir- 
cumstance, it bears traces of a double lit- 
erary affinity. One might even question 
whether the Walpurgis Nacht in Faust has 
not had a stronger effect upon its struc- 
ture than the " Prometheus Bound ; " only 
what is an episode in Goethe is expanded 
into the substance of one of Shelley's great- 
est works. Any reader going through 
it for the second time will be surprised to 
see how little there is of Prometheus, and 
even of Asia and Panthea, in proportion 
to the crowd of Voices, and Echoes, and 
Spirits, and Earth, and Moon, and the like. 



To borrow a metaphor from music, the 
accompaniments overpower the air. This 
is of less consequence, because no super- 
human poetry can be adequate ; and the 
danger is greater when the poet is aware 
of it The only resource in such a case is 
that of the painter who covered Agamem- 
non's face. The curse of Prometheus 
would have impressed us if we had never 
heard it spoken ; the utmost of horror has 
been reached when the effects of the curse 
have been described; it was impossible 
(though the curse is very fierce and very 
eloquent) to present anything so terrible 
as we have been led to expect. It is to 
be observed idso, that nothing whatever 
comes of Prometheus' desire to hear a 
repetition of his curse. It serves, no 
doubt, to explain the situation ; but in a 
well-constructed tragedy the first scene, 
especially when it is so laboured and mag- 
nincent, ought to serve for something 
more. Even the Furies come and go with- 
out producing any perceptible effect; and 
their threats of what they will do are so 
dreadful that what they actually do seems 
tame. The third Fury has said : 

** Thou thiak'st we will live through thee, one 

by one. 
Like aoiinal life, and though we can obscure 

not 
The soul that bums within, that we will dwell 
Beside it, like a yain loud multitude 
Vexing the self-oontent of wisest men: 
That we will be dread thought beneath thy 

brain, 
And foal desire round thine astonished heart. 
And blood within thy labyrinthine veins 
Crawling like agony.' ' 

This, it appears, is not enough. The 
whole family is invoked from the ends of 
the earth to produce a greater and more 
subtle torment ; and all they can do is to 
exhibit a vision of the bad effects, as con- 
ceived by Shelley, of knowledge and the 
Crucifixion. It is an obvious criticism that 
Prometheus must have foreseen these, 
even if he did not know them historically, 
which he probably did as the three thou- 
sand years assigned as the term df his suf- 
ferings already past would bring the 
action within the limits of the present 
century. Throughout the play the scenes, 
according to the extreme of the English 
and Spanish method, exhibit the action 
without forwarding it. Asia and Panthea 
are carried with extreme solemnity to the 
cave of Demogorgon and back again. 
They receive much exciting and impres- 
sive information ; but neither they nor any 
one else take any action in consequence. 
Fauns speculate sympathetically, though 



Digitized by 



Googk 



14 



THE POEMS OF SHELLEY. 



without any apparent reason, npon their 
journey througn a beautiful scene. All 
that can be called action in the play is com- 
pressed into the two pages where Demo- 
gorgon wrestles with Jupiter, and ** Her- 
cules unbinds Prometheus, who descends." 
The fourth act we know was an after- 
thought. On a first reading it may appear 
an excrescence ; on a closer inspection it 
will be seen that the speech of tne Spirit 
of the Hour, at the end of the third act, is 
not a satisfactory close to the poem. 
Here is its last paragraph : — 

<* Thrones, altars, judgment-seats, and prisons, 

wherein 
And beside which by wret<iied men were 

borne 
Soeptres, tiaras, swords, and chains, and 

tomes 
Of reasoned wrong, glozed on by ignorance. 
Were like those monstrous and bartfario 

shapes, 
The ghosts of a no more remembered fame. 
Which, from their nnwom obelisks, look forth 
In triumph o'er the palaces and tombs 
Of those who were their conquerors moulder- 
ing round: 
Those imaged to the pride of kings and 

priests, 
A dark yet miffhty faith, a power as wide 
As is the world it wasted, and are now 
But an astonishment; e?en so the tools 
And emblems of its lost captivity. 
Amid the dwellings of the peopled earth. 
Stand, not o*erthrown, but unregarded now. 
And those foul shapes, abhorred by Qod and 

man. 
Which, under many a name and many a form. 
Strange, savage, ghastly, dark^ and exeont- 

ble. 
Were Jupiter, the tyrant of the world; 
And which the nations, panio-strioken, served 
With blood, and hearts broken by long hope, 

and love 
Dragged to his altars soiled and garlandless. 
And slain among men*s unreolaiming tears. 
Flattering the thing they feared, which fear 

was hate. 
Frown, mouldering fkst, o'er their abandoned 

shrines: 
The painted vdl, by those who were, called 

life. 
Which mimick*d, as with colours idly spread, 
All men believed and hoped, is torn aside; 
The loathsome mask has fSftUen, the man re- 
mains 
Sceptreless, Aree, undircumscribed, but man 
Equal, unolossed, tribeless, and nationless. 
Exempt from awe, worship, degree, the king 
Over himself; just, gentle, wise: but man 
Passionless; No, yet free from guilt or pain. 
Which were, for his will made or su£feI^Bd 

them. 
Nor yet exempt, though ruling them like 
slaves. 



From chance and death, and mutability, 
The clogs of that which else might oversoor 
The lofdest star of onosoended heaven. 
Pinnacled dim in the intense inane.*' 

The last three lines are in Shelley's best 
manner ; but ^ven without the fourth act 
we mieht infer that the picture did not 
satisfy him. The Spirit of the Hour her- 
self was disappointed at first not to see 

** a greater change 
Expressed in outward things. But soon I 

looked. 
And behold! thrones were kinglees, and men 

walked 
One with the other, even as spirits do." 

The real greatness of "Prometheus Un- 
bound" is the fervour and neatness of 
the lyrical accompaniment. It has already 
been said that the journey of Asia and her 
sisters seems motiveless dramatically ; but 
the crowd of magic suggestions and im- 
pulses which urge them forward is ex- 
hibited withincrecUble vividness and grace. 
The same character of flowing energy runs 
through the choruses and semi-choruses, 
which are bewilderingly numerous. The 
very few passages that recall the classical 
situation which furnishes its original 
framework to the play are as felicitous in 
tone as possible. There is nothing of the 
stiffiiess of deliberate imitation ; but there 
are touches which repeat the manner of 
the ancients, sometimes closely, sometimes 
distantly, so that the transition to the' 
thoroughly modem portions of the poem 
is imperceptible. Here is an extract that 
recalls Homer and Virgil as well as iEschy- 
lus, while the music is modem through- 
out: — 

** But see, where through the asure chasm 

Of yon forked and snowy hill. 
Trampling the slant winds on high 

With golden-sandalled feet, that glow 
Under plumes of purple dye. 
Like rose-ensanguined ivory, 

A shape comes now. 
Stretching on high from his right hand 
A serpent-cinctured wand. 
Pakthea. *Tis Jove's world-wandering herald. 

Mercury." 

The immediate transition from the 
Prometheus to " The Cenci " measures the 
full extent of Shelley's power, if, that is, 
we are to suppose that his powers ever at- 
tained maturity. He himself was dissatis- 
fied with " The Cenci ; " he thought that 
it was too popular to be excellent; and 
perhaps he felt that, to a certain extent, 
he was forcing his talent. Beatrice and 
Lucretia and Count Cenci are all thorough- 
ly human and thoroughly Shelleyan. fiea> 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OF SHELLEY. 



15 



trice is a counterpart of Prometheiu — a 
yictim of the law of the world, oppressed 
and tortured by the cruelty of a father 
who is supported by the authority of a 
pope, and a despainne* witness to the 
nigher law of rignt and loye. But Pro- 
metheus is lifted aboye his sufferings, be- 
cause he understands their source and 
their end ; he cannot hate, for he under^ 
stands that revenge is certain and unneces- 
sary. Beatrice shares the faith of her ty- 
rants ; and thoftgh Shelley condemns her 
in the preface, in the play he feels that she 
is comoelled to act, and stay at any cost 
the poUution which was poisoning her life. 
Count Cenci might be an incarnation of 
Jupiter ; he is simply tyranny and selfish- 
ness run mad. . Lucretia is a simple type 
of patience and unintelligent tenderness, 
an elder sister of Helen, and has never de- 
parted from conventional virtue till she 
oecomes an accomplice in her daughter's 
deliverance. All the other characters are 
simply theatrical properties. Giacomo is 
the stage dupe ; Orsino is the stage traitor 
who tempts his victims, as nearly as possi- 
ble as King John tempts Hubert, or as 
Richard tempts Buckmgham. Olimpio 
and Marzio are stage assassins, the only 
difference being that, considering the pur^ 
pose for which they are employed, the 
most resolute instead of the most super- 
stitious is naturally represented as least 
base. Camillo is simply the stage ecclesias- 
tic ; his neutral and ineffectual character 
is really an appeal to religious prejudice } 
and the appal is more emphatically re- 
peated in the case of Orsino, since his in- 
sincerity is made to be a consequence of 
his false position as a celibate. 

The conventionality of these characters 
is at worst a negative evil; it is a more 
serious question whether the play has not 
suffered by the endeavours to make it 
theatrical A false lustre.is thrown upon 
the character of Count Cenci, by the close 
juxtaposition of the fine in the first scene 
and tne superb cynicism with which he 
hails the news of his son's death in the 
second. Again, as Shelley conceives it, 
the ideal problem of the play is to detei^ 
mine whether any wrong can justify re- 
venge ; and it is certain that when an his- 
torical combination of circumstances is 
used to illustrate a spiritual problem the 
conditions of the problem ought not to be 
changed. Now, according to the manu- 
script narrative, which appears to be Shel- 
ley's only authority, Beatrice eiyoyed her 
dear-bought peace six months without sus^ 
picion, simply and solely in consequence 
of her own resolute action. According to 



the play, the cause of Count Cenci's death 
is discovered the same night, owing to the 
arrival of papal commissioners charged to 
arrest him on a capital charge ; so that we 
are given to understand that, if his wife 
and daughter could have waited a few 
hours more, they would ■ have been deliv- 
ered without incurring any daneer or 
responsibility. It may be admitted that 
the change makes the story more dramatic 
in the ordinary sense; perhaps it may 
make it more tragic; but it certainly 
changes the conditions of the problem 
which the poet had undertaken to solve. 
In another scene the play suffers from an 
overconsciousness of tne problem. When 
Beatrice is confronted with Marzio, and 
faces him out of his confession of what was 
called her guilt, everything is made to lead 
up to the sentimentid line — 

" A higher pain has forced a higher truth." 

This brings out Shelley's didactic theory 
of the situation ; but the advantage is pur- 
chased at the expense of making Beatrice 
defend what soe ought to disavow, in 
order to extract from an Italian bandit a 
fine phrase which would be ludicrously 
undramatic in almost any mouth, consid- 
ering all the circumstances. When one 
turns to the trial scene in Webster's White 
Devil, one sees that it is sometimes an 
advantage to a dramatic poet to have no 
sense of spiritual problems. It is more 
doubtful whether the poem suffers, as a 
poem, from the unhistorical way in which 
the principal characters are conceived. 
Cenci idealizes his wickedness, and his 
daughter idealizes her wretchedness, in a 
way which the evidence does not warrant 
as regards the father, and almost certainly 
excludes as regards the daughter. There 
is nothing whatever in the narrative to 
suffgest that Count Cend was an eloquent 
and courageous man, who delivered bril- 
liant speecnes upon the delights of in- 
fidelity and the economies of murder. 
Shelley himself attained a point of view 
undemably more philosophical, if less 
poetically effective, in "retei Bell the 
m-d:" — 

« The Devil was no unoommon creatare, 
A leaden-witted thief just huddled 
Out of the droes and scam of nature, 
A toad-like lamp of limb and featare. 
With mind, and heart, and fancy muddled. 

** He was that heavy, dull, cold thing 
The spirit of evil well may be 
A drone too base to have a sting 
Who gluts and grimes his laiy wing» 
And oalls lust luxury." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



16 



THE POEMS OP SHELLEY. 



The irritability that follows satiety might 
fdve a drone a sting ; and the rest of the 
description might fit the historic Cenci for 
anjrthmg we know. The manuscript nar- 
rative gives a much completer picture of 
Beatrice than of her father ; and her na- 
ture seems to have been as simple and 
positive as it was lofty and strong. In 
reading the narrative we never ferget, 
what in reading Shelley we never remem- 
ber, that she was emphatically comme il 
£aut. Something is lost with the proud, 
simple strength of such traits as these. 
"When she was already tied under the 
torture, he brought before her her mother- 
in-law and her brothers. They began all 
together to exhort her to confess, saying 
that, since the crime had been committed, 
they must suffer the punishment. Bea- 
trice, after some resistance, said, * So you 
all wish to die, and to disgrace and ruin 
our house. This is not right ; but since it 
pleases you, so let it be.' And turning to 
the gaolers, she told them to unbind ner, 
and that all the examinations might be 
brought to her, saying, *Tliat which I 
ought to confess, that will I confess ; that 
to which I ought to assent, to that will I 
assent ; and that which I ought to deny, 
that will I deny.'" Even the dresses 
"after the manner of nuns," which Bea- 
trice ordered for the procession of judg- 
ment and execution, because her own and 
her mother's were too splendid for de- 
corum, and the handkerchiefs with which 
she wiped her forehead, and her mother 
wiped her eyes on the way to the scaffold, 
serve to complete the impression of a 
figure which is not less beautiful for be- 
ing less ethereal. The fact is that, though 
Shelley takes credit in his preface S>t 
preserving the local colour, his success is 
only in the scenery and circumstances; 
his heroine is only a self-conscious, almost 
romantic Englishwoman. This is espe- 
cially visible in the first scene between her 
and Orsini, because Shelley had never 
realized the relation of which the creator 
of Caponsacchi has given such a masterly 
analysis. But, after all, criticism is un- 
grateful in presence of a character so sad, 
so sweet, so lofty, and so beautiful, as 
Shelley's Beatrice. He was fortunate in 
finding in the story of the Cenci a subject 
dramatic in itself, and containing two 
characters, one of which appealed to his 
highest inspiration, and the other to the 
'fierce loathmg and the terrified (Usdain of 
selfish prosperity which also seemed to be 
a kind of inspiration. The fragments of 
" Charles the First," to which Mr. Rossetti 
has been able to make large additions, are 



almost sufficient to prove that his dramatic 
' gift depended upon such felicitous fortui- 
ties. If the play had been finished it 
would have belonged to the same order as 
the New England Tragedies, though its 

5 lace in the order wouldf have been Bgher. 
'he writer, after all, would have done 
nothing but exhibit his own historical 
theory of the period in magnificently orna- 
mented dialogue. 

No falling off of the kind appears on 
comparing "Hellas" with "Prometheus 
Unbound : " it might almost be said that an 
inferiority in subject is compensated to 
some extent by an advance ii) art. There 
is no pretence at action. Mahmud takes 
no step whatever under his perplexities 
except opening the treasures of holyman 
and consulting Ahasuerus ; and from the 
last he expects no practical result. But 
if it is once admitted that exposition apart 
from action is a legitimate form of dra- 
matic art, nothing can be finer than the 
scene of Mahmud and the messengers. 
And throughout the poem the reader is 
kept far more strictly to the situation than 
in "Prometheus," where the majesty of 
the principal character has to be brought 
out at the price of much purely didactic 
eloquence. K we take "Prometheus" and 
" The Cenci '^ as the measure of the range 
within which Shelley could be great, we 
might take "Hellas" and "Epipsychi- 
dion " as the measure of the range within 
which he was safe, and could always trust 
his inspiration. Passion was necessary to 
him : the odes to Naples and to Liberty 
suffer from the want of it. An ideal me- 
dium was necessary : the " Masque of An- 
archy " suffers for want of it as soon as the 
splendid and cutting symbolism of the 
vision gives place 'to the plain poUtictd 
sermon which occupies two-thirds of the 
poem ; even " The Cenci " suffers from want 
of it, which made it impossible for him to 
do as Keats implored him, " and load everv 
view of his sumect with ore." In " Hel- 
las " and in " Epipsychidion " he could do 
this : in " Prometheus " he could attempt 
it, but here we find too much of the ab- 
stract thought, which was always a tempta- 
tion to him, and often was a danger. K 
"Hellas" is taken as Shelley's maturest 
attempt to embody the passion of the 
world, " Epipsychidion " may be taken yet 
more confidently as his maturest attempt 
to embody the passion of the soul. The 
poem is at once the antithesis and the com- 
plement of " Alastor." As in " Alastor," 
the hero is Shelley himself, under a vet 
thinner disguise ; and this time he is left 
to tell his own story. In both the hero is 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE POEMS OF SHELLET. 



17 



E 



in loTO with loying, in both he pnrsues an 
ideal wluch he misseB — in ^ Alastor " be- 
cause he refuses to accept any earthly re- 
alization of it, in ^ Epipsychidion '* because 
he seeks its realization amiss. The theory 
of love in the latter poem is like the theory 
of worship in the Yeidas ; the last lady-love 
is the onl^ true satisfaction of the lover's 
idefd longing, iust as the god who is ad- 
dressed in each hymn is for the moment 
supreme, and resumes within himself the 
attributes of all others for the worshipper. 

It is evident that marriage, even a hap- 
y marriaee, had no tendency to close the 
!ist of Shelley's love affoirs. No doubt his 
latter loves were entirely Platonic; but 
none the less thev showed that they had 
ceased to satisfy him. In fact a Platonic 
affection is enough in theory to satisfy 
the demand of free love, which by its 
very definition excludes any passion 
strong enough to demand a permanent 
or exclusive possession of its object ; 
and a passion which is content with- 
out this is scarcely a passion at all, and 
may remain, without sacrifice if not with- 
out danger, at the stage of purely ideal 
contempuition. In fact, the hero of 
'* Epipsychidion " is a kind of Platonic 
'*Don Juan," less hopeless because less 
shameless, purified, perhaps emasculated. 
It is a curious question whether, if he had 
not been shipwrecked before startinefor 
the Cyclades, he would have outlived love 
altogether, or have learned (for he was 
learning) to treat it as Landor treated it, 
as the most delicate of amusements, a per- 
petual caress, just too tender to be either 
insipid or voluptuous. There is a very 
maned progress in this sense between 
the terrible fragment headed "Misery" 
(1818) and « The Question " (1820), and 
"The Recollection" ('1822|). One thine 
was clearly impossible, tnat he should 
find an end of love in the beloved. He 
idealized evervthing ; he idealized the im- 
perfections of each of his wives till he 
sometimes fancied them intolerable. In 
the case of his first wife these fancies 
deepened to a permanent conviction. The 
wise kindness of his second prevented 
them from being more than passing 
clouds ; on the whole he was happy with 
her, and knew that she was good to him ; 
but she could not feed him with the con- 
itantly renewed ecstasy for which he 
pined. 

To such a nature inspiration was singu- 
larly like a disease; and the limit to his 
popularity lay not merely in the transcend- 
ent excellence of his creations, but in the 
abnormal conditions out of which they 

uvmo Aox. VOL. XX. 888 



sprang. It is not an accident that of his^ 
longer poems the two which are least 
original are most popular. In " The 
Cenci " and " Adonais," ne was carried out 
of himself and was forced to dwell on 
something whose existence was independ- 
ent of his feelings and desires. The ma- 
chinery of "Adonais'^ is taken without 
scruple from earlier works. The opening 
stanzas are an expansion of themes taken 
from Bion's dirge for Adonis. The pro- 
cession of the mountain shepherds comes 
through Lycidas from YirgiL The splen- 
did pageant of the inheritors of unfulfilled 
renown comes partly from the same source 
and partly from Isaiah. The thrilling 
apostrophe 

*' Oar Adonais hath drunk poison -:- oh! 

'What deaf and viperous murderer could 
crown 
Life's early cup with such a draught of woe? 
The nameless worm would now itself dis- 
own." ^ 

comes direct from Moschus's Elegy on 
Bion; and the exultation over the trans- 
figured life of Adonais is taken from 
Milton's 

** Weep no more, woefiil shepherds, weep no 
more. 
For Lycidas, our sorrow, is not dead. 
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor." 

It would not be possible to point out any* 
thing like such a list of suggestions vol- 
untfuily accepted in the construction of 
the elegiac poems which Mr. Arnold and 
Mr. Swinburne have dedicated to Clouffh 
and Baudelaire. But Shelley could take 
what he pleased from his predecessors, 
and make it his own; his colouring is 
never richer or more characteristic than 
here, when he is filling up their outline. 
It is only in " Adonais '^ and the unfinished 
"Triumph of Life " that he can be con- 
sidered a philosophical poet; and in 
" Adonais " the gain is clearly due to his 
svmnatby with the concrete personality of 
the aeparted, which made his mysticism at 
once less obscure, more ardent, and there- 
fore more exalted. 

It is a striking proof of Shelley's nobility 
of mind, that he could pay such a fervent 
and magnificent tribute to a poet for 
whose poetry he hardly cared. Keats ludd 
Shelley stand side by side as the two great 
ideal artists of their generation ; but they 
never appreciated each other. There is 
no excuse for seeking the reason in any- 
thin? so dishonourable as jealousy; for 
neither could by possibility have. thought 
the other was overrated by the world. 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 

J 



18 



THE POEMS OP SHELLEY. 



And, even if we admit Mr. Bossetti's ex- 
planation that Keats was rendered cap- 
tions and irritable by disease, this will not 
account for the slighting and unsympa- 
thetic way in which Shelley spoke of all 
his works except "Hyperion. He evi 
dently regarded Keats as a man of genios, 
who was in great danger of wasting him- 
self; and, even in "Adonais,"he inclined 
to number him with the inheritors of un- 
fulfilled renown; and the enumeration 
shows that this is not to be taken simply 
of the gifted souls, whose names must be 
left to wait for justice from posterity. 
The fact is, each of them felt the faults of 
the other; and the reason that Shelley, 
with this feeling, spoke more warmly of 
Keats than Keats spoke of him, is not 
wholly that he was more generous, but 
also that he was less critical. 

Of all great poets, Keats was the most 
literary ; and it was natural that he should 
be exacting. To him poetry was an end 
in itself; its mission was simply to fill and 
satisfy the spirit with images of objective 
loveliness. His philosophy, so far as he 
had one, was a judicious quietism — a 
seeking of the beautiful where it was to 
be found, in the ordered stability of nature, 
and in the rich moments of life which come 
to those who are ready for them. It is 
certain that he came nearer than Shelley 
to the temper of most great poets, of 



Homer and Sophocles, of Pindar and 
Shakespeare, of Chaucer and Goethe. 
Perhaps he was right in recoiling from 
Shelley's subjective fervour, from his 
feverish pursuit of an impalpable progress, 
as Shelley was right in warning him 
against his tendency to bury every subject 
he undertook under a profusion of flowers. 
It may be questioned whether Shelley's 
power was not higher; but Keats was 
justified in feeling that his own aims in 
poetry were surer. 

We have said little of Shelley's shorter 
poems, not because they are less valuable 
than his elaborate works, but because 
their beauties do not require analysis. 
The naked swift melody, joyous or sad, as 
the case may be, which overflows wherever 
he could content himself with a lyrical cry 
had forced itself on public recognition as 
early as 1839, when Mrs. Shelley remarked 
that the ode **To a Skylark" and "The 
Cloud " were thought by many to contain 
a purer spirit of poetry than any of his 
other works. The wonderful cleverness 
of his satires and the excellence of his 
translations, may be recognized without 
comment ; the problem which requires so- 
lution is how, with so many other gifts, 
and with so much ambition, he produced 
nothing perfect beyond the range of the 
lyrical cry, except his translation of the 
Homeric hymn to Hermes. 



A ooRBBBPONDBNT writes : — I witnessed last 
night the display of the Aurora Borealis from the 
top of one of the Cotswold Hills. I had wandered 
to a little village about nine miles from the 
place at which I am staying, and late in the af- 
ternoon was retarning homewards when I saw a 
dark cloud hanging down from the sky moving 
towards me. £i a few minutes I was almost 
blinded by the raiu, and was glad to take refuge 
in a shepherd's cottage on the boles, where I 
remained until the storm had passed over: by 
this time it was night I had many miles to 
walk; beneath me was a valley wrapt in mist, 
and above me the vault of the sky was of a deep 
pink colour, like the inside of a shell What 
interested me more, however, than the Aurora 
Borealis, was the view taken of it by the inhab- 
itants of a little village through which I passed. 
They were all standing outside their houses gax- 
ing at the heavens ** There is .France for you,'* 
said one of them to me as I approached him. I 
requested an explanation, and found that not 
only he but all his neighbours attributed the 
bk)od-red light in the dqr to the burning of 



Paris. ** Gad, how It biases! '* I heard a man 
remark. *« They're a gettin' it hundcr now," 
said another; and so on through all the village. 
At a garden gate of nearly the last house I ob- 
served a respectable-looking mau with a tele- 
scope, with which he was raking the sky : '* It 
is mm," he said to me, ** and very sublimely 
so; but, the d-^-d asses, I can't make 'em be* 
lieve it is only the Southern Cross " I rather 
think he was the schoolmaster of the parish. 
PaU Mall Gazette. 



Thi French Government have adopted a new 
seal The obverse bears the figure of Liberty 
with the legend, ** In the name of the French 
people;" the reverso, a wreath of oak and olive, 
with a sheaf of com. In the centre of the 
wreath are the words, ** The French Republic, 
Democratic, one and indivisible," and the 
legend is, ** Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." 
Fall MaU Gazette. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



[ Entered accordlDg to. Act of Coogrew In the year 1870, br Litt«>U k Gfty in the Office of the Librarian 

of Congress at Washington.] 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST; 



OE, 



"DURING MY APPRENTICESHIP.'' 

XBLiNBLATSD FEOM THB *< UT MIMK STBOMTED** OF IKITI BBUTEB. 



CHAPTER I. 

In the year 1829, on St. John's day, a 
man sat in the deepest melancholy, under 
an ash-tree arbor, m a neglected garden. 
The estate, to which the garden belonged, 
was a lease-hold estate, and lay on the 
river Feene, between Anclam and Demmin, 
and the man, who sat in the cool shade of 
the arbor, was the lease-holder, — that is 
to say, he hatl been until now; for now 
he was ejected, and there was an auction 
to-day in his homestead, and all his goods 
and possessions were going to the four 
winds. 

He was a large, broad-shouldered, light- 
haired man, of four and forty years ; and 
nowhere could you find a better specimen 
of what labor could make of a man than 
she Jiad carved from this block. ** Labor," 
said his honest face, — ^ Labor," said his 
finn hands which lay quiet in his cap, 
folded one upon another as if for pray- 
ing. 

Yes, for praying I And in the whole 
broad country of romerania, there might 
well have been no one with greater need 
and reason to speak with his Lord God, 
than this man. 'Tis a hard thing for any 
one to see his household goods, which he 
has gathered with labor and pains, piece 
by piece, go wandering out into the world. 
'Tis a hard thing for a farmer to leave the 
cattle, which he has fed and cared for, 
through want and trouble, to other hands 
that know nothing of the difficulties which 
have oppressed him all his life. But it was 
not this which lay so heavy on his heart ; 
it was a still deeper grief which caused 
the weary hands to lie ^Ided together, and 
the weary eyes to droop so heavily. 

Since yesterday he was a widow* r, his 
wife lay upon her last couch. His wifel 



Ten vears had he striven for her, ten years 
had he worked and toiled, and done what 
human strength could do that they might 
come together, that he might make room 
for the deep, powerful love which sung 
through his whole being, like Pentecost 
bells over green fields and blossoming 
fruit-trees. 

Four years ago he had made it possible ; 
he had scraped together everything that 
he had ; an acquaintance who had inherited 
from his parents two estates had leased 
one of them to him, — at a high rent, very 
high — no one knew that better than him- 
self, — but love ^ves courage, cheerful 
courage, to sustam one through every- 
thing. Oh, it would have gone well, quite 
well, if misfortunes had not come upon 
them, if his dear little wife had not risen 
before the daylight and ere the dew was 
risen, and got such feverish red spots on 
her cheeks. Oh, all would have gone well, 
quite well, if his landlord had been not 
merely an acquaintance but a friend — he 
was not the latter; to-day he allowed his 
agent to hold the auction. 

Friends? Such a man as the one who 
sat under the ashen arbor, has he no friends? 
Ah, he had friends, and their friendship 
was true ; but they could not help him, 
they had nothing either to give or to lend. 
Wherever he looked, there seemed a 
gloomy wall before his eyes, which nar- 
rowed around him, and pressed him in, 
until he must needs call upon the Lord to 
deliver him out of his distresses. And 
over him in the ashen twigs sang the 
finches, and their say plumage glittered 
in the sun, and the flowers in the neglected 
garden gave out their fragrance, all (n 
vain, — and the fairest bri£d pair in the 
world might have sat there, and never 
have forgotten either the place or the day. 

19 



Digitized by 



Googk 



20 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



And had he not often sat under these 
shade trees with a soft hand in his hard 
one ? Had not the birds suns, had not the 
flowers been fragrant ? Had ne not under 
the ash-trees dreamed of their cool shade 
for his old age ? And who was it that had 
brought to him here a refreshing drink 
after a hot day's labor? Who was it 
tha1> had shared in and consoled all his 
cares and sorrows ? 

It was gone — all gonel — Here was 
care and trouble about the auction, and 
the soft, warm hand was cold and stiff. 
And so it is much the same to a man as if 
the birds sang no longer, and the flowers 
had lost their 'fragrance, and the blessed 
sun shone for him no more; and if the 

Cr heart keeps on beating it reaches out, 
ond birds and flowers and beyond the 
golden sun, higher up aft«r a Comforter, 
in whose presence these earthly joys shall 
fade and fall, but before whom the human 
soul shall stand forever. 

So sat Habermann before his Grod, and 
his hands were folded, and his honest blue 
eves bent to the ground, and yet there 
shone in them a clear liffht, as from God's 
sun. Then came a little maiden running 
to him, and laid a marigold blossom on his 
cap, and the two hands unfolded them- 
selves and clasped the child, — it was lus 
child, — and he rose up from the bench, 
and took her on his arm, and from his 
eyes fell tear after tear, and he kept the 
mariffold flower in his hand, and went with 
the child along the path through the gar- 
den. 

He came to a young tree which he had 
planted himself; the s^aw-rope with which 
it was bound to its prop had loosened, 
and the tree was sagging downwards. 
He reached up and bound it fast, without 
thinking what he was doing, for his 
thoughts were far away, but care and 
helping were part of his nature. 

But when a man's thoughts are in the 
clouds, were it even in the blue heavens, 
if his daily duties come before his eyes, — 
the old accustomed handiwork, — and he 
does them, he helps himself in so doing, 
for they call him back from the distance 
and show him what is near by, and what 
is in need of help. And it is one of our 
Lord's mercies that this is so. 

He walked up and down the garden, 
and his eyes saw what was around him, 
and his thouehts came back to earth ; and 
though the black, gloomy clouds still over- 
spreful the heaven of his future, they could 
not conceal one little patch of blue sky, — 
that was the little girl whom he bore on 
his arm, and whose baby hand played with 



his hair. He had thought over his situar 
tion, steadily and earnestly he had looked 
the black clouds in the face ; he must take 
care that he and his little one were not 
overpowered by the storm. 

He went from the garden toward the 
house. Good Heavens, how his courage 
sunk I Indifierent to him, and absorbed 
in their petty afi&urs, a crowd of men 
pressed around the table where the 
actuary was holding the auction. Piece 
by piece the furniture acquired by his 
years of industry was knocked down to the 
hiffhest bidder ; piece by piece lus house- 
hold ffear had come into the house, with 
trouble and anxiety; piece, by piece it 
went out to the world, amid jokes and 
laughter. This sideboard had been his 
old mother's, this chest of drawers his 
wife had brought with her, that little 
work-table he had given her while she was 
yet a bride. Near by stood his cattle, tied 
to a rack, and lowing after their pasture ; 
the brown yearling which his poor wife 
herself, had brought up, her special pet, 
stood amonff them ; he went round to her, 
and stroked her with his hand. 

" Herr," said the bailiff Niemen, " 'tis a 
sad pity" 

" I es, Niemen, 'tis a pity ; but there's no 
help for it," said he, and turned away, 
and went toward the men who were 
crowding around the auctioneer's table. 

As the people noticed him, they made 
room for him in a courteous and friendly 
manner, and he turned to the auctioneer 
as if he would speak a few words to him. 

"Directly, Herr Habermann," said the 
man, " in a moment I am just through 
with the house-inventory, then — A chest 
of drawers ! Two dollars, four shillings I 
Six shillings I Two dollars eight shillings I 
Once I Twice 1 Two dollars twelve slull- 
ings 1 No more ? Once 1 T¥rice 1 and — 
thrice I Who has it?" 

" Brandt, the tailor," was the answer. 

Just at this moment, a company of coun- 
try people came riding up the yard, who 
apparently wished to look at the cattle, 
which came next in order in the sale. 
Foremost rode a stout, red-faced man, upon 
whose broad features arrogance had 
plenty of room to display itself. This 
quality was very strongly marked ; but 
an unusual accompaniment was indicated 
by the little, crafty eyes, which peered out 
over the coarse cheeks, as if to say, " You 
are pretty well ofi^ but we have something 
to do to look after your interests." The 
owner of these eyes was the owner also of 
the estate of which Habermann had held 
the lease ; he rode close up to the cluster 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



21 



of men, and, as he saw his unhappy tenant 
standing among them, the possibility oc- 
curred to him that he might fail of receiv- 
ing his full rent, and the crafty eyes, 
which understood so well how to look 
after their own interests, said to the ar- 
rogance which sat upon mouth and mien, 
^ Brother, now is a good time to spread 
yourself; it will cost you nothings' <u^<i 

Dressing his horse nearer to Habermann 
e called, so that all the pepple must hear, 
** Yes, here is your prudent MeckUnburger, 
who will teach us how to manage a farm 1 
What has he taught us ? To drink wine 
and shuffle cards he might teach us, but 
farming — Bankruptcy, he can teach us 1" 

All were silent at these hard words, and 
looked first at him who had uttered them, 
and then at him against whom they were 
directed. Habermann was at first struck, 
by voice and words together, as if a knife 
had been plunged into his heart; now he 
stood still and looked silently before him, 
letting all go over his head ; but among 
the people broke out a murmuring — 
^ Fie 1 rie 1 For shame 1 The man is no 
drinker nor card-player. He has worked 
his farm like a good fellow ! " 

*^ What great donkey is this, who can talk 
like that ? '* asked old Farmer Drenkhahn, 
from Lie^n, and pressed nearer with his 
buckthorn sta£ 

"That's the fellow, father," called* out 
Stolper the smith, ^'who lets his people go 
begdng about, for miles around." 

**They haven't a^coat to their backs," 
said tailor Brandt, of Jarmen, ** and by all 
their labour they can only earn victuals." 

"Yes," laughed the smith, "that's the 
fellow who is so kind to his people that 
they all have nice dress-coats to work in, 
while he does not keep enough to buy him- 
self a smock-frock." 

The auctioneer had spruns up and ran 
towards the landlord, who had heard these 
remarks with unabashed thick-headedness. 
"In God's name, Herr Fomuchelskopp, 
how can you talk so Y " 

" Yes,^' said one of his own company, who 
rode up with him, "these folks are right. 
You should be ashamed of yourself 1 The 
poor man has given up everything that he 
had a right to keep, and goes out into the 
world to-morrow, empty-handed, and you 
go on abusing him." 

"Ah, indeed," said the auctioneer, "if 
that were ail 1 But his wife died only yes- 
terday, and lies on her last couch, and there 
he is with his poor little child, and what 
prospect has the poor man for the future ? " 

The murmur went round among the 
people of the landlord's company, and it 



was not long before he had the place to 
himself; those who eame with him had rid- 
den aside. "Did I know that?" said he 
peevishly, and rode out of the yard ; and 
the little, crafty eyes said to the broad 
arrogance, " Brother, this time we went 
rather too far." 

The auctioneer turned to Habermann. 
I " Herr Habermann, you had something 
Ito say tome?" 

I " Yes — yes — " replied the farmer, like a 
I man who has been under torture, coming 
I again to his senses. " Yes, I was going to 
jask you to put up to auction the few 
things I have a right to keep back, — Uie 
bed and the other things." 

" Willingly ; but the household furni- 
ture has sold badly, the people have no 
money, and if you wish to dispose of any- 
thing you would do better at private sale." 

"I have not time for that, and I need 
the money. " 

'' Then if you wish it, I will offer the 
goods at auction,^' and the man went back 
to his business. 

"Habermann," said Farmer Grot, who 
came with the company on horseback^ 
" you are so lonely here, in your misfor- 
tunes ; come home with me, you and your 
little girl, and stay awhile with us, my 
wife will be right glad " 

"I thank you much for the good will; 
but I cannot go, I have still something to 
do here." 

" Habermann," said farmer Hartmann, 
" you mean the funeral of your good wite. 
When do you bury herV We will all 
come together, to do her this last honor." 

" For that I thank you too ; but I cannot 
receive you as would be proper, and by 
this time I have learned that one must cut 
his coat according to his cloth." ^ 

" Old friend, my dear old neighbor and 
countryman," said Inspector Wienk, and 
clapped him on the shoulder, " do not yield 
to discouragement ! things will go better 
with you yet." 

" Ihscouragement, Wienk ? " said Haber- 
mann, earnestly, pressing his child closer 
to himself, and looking steadily at the in- 
spector, with his honest blue eyes. " Is that 
cUscouragement, to look one's future stead- 
ily in the face, and do one's utmost to avert 
misfortune? But I cannot stay here; a 
man avoids the place where he has once 
made shipwreck. I must go to some house 
at a distance, and beg^ again at the be- 
ginning. I must work for my bread again, 
and stretch my feet under a stranger's 
table. And now good-bye to you all 1 You 
have always been good neighbors and 
friends to me. Adieu 1 Adieu ! Give me 



Digitized by 



Googk 



22 



SBBD-TIME AKD HARYSST. 



your hand, Wienk, — Adieu 1 and greet 
them all kindly at your houde ; my wife 

'* He had still something to say, but 

he seemed to be overcome, and turned 
almost quickly and went his way. 

"Niemen," said he to his bailiff as he 
came to the other end of the farm-yard, 
*' Tell the other j)eople, to-morrow morn- 
ing early, at four o clock, I will bury my 
wue." With that, he went into the house, 
into his sleeping-room. It was all cleaned 
out, his bed and all the furniture which 
had been left to him; nothing remained 
but four bare walls. Only in a dark cor- 
ner stood an old chest, and on it sat a 
young woman, the wife of a day-laborer, 
her eyes red with weeping; and in the 
middle of the room stooa a black coffin in 
which lay a white, still, solemn face, and 
the woman had a sreen branch in her 
hand, and brushed the flies from the still 
face. 

"Stina," said Habermann, "go home 
now ; I will stay here." 

" Oh, Herr, let me stay ! " 

" No, Stina, I shall stay here all night." 

"Shall I not take the little one with 
me ? " 
• %No, leave her, she will sleep well." 

The young woman went out : the auc- 
tioneer came and handed him the money 
which he had received for his goods, the 
people went away from the court-yard; 
It became as quiet out of doors as in. He 
put the child down, and reckoned the 
money on the window-seat. " That pays 
the cabinet-maker for the coffin; that 
for the cross at the grave ; that for the 
funeral. Stina shall have this, and with 
the rest I can go to my sister." The even- 
ing came, the young wife of the laborer 
brought in a lighted candle, and set it on 
the coffin, and gazed long at the white face, 
then dried her eyes and said "Grood- 
night," and Habermann was again alone 
with his child. 

He raised the window, and looked out 
into the night. It was dark for that time 
of year, no stars shone in the sky, all 
was obscured with black clouds, and a 
warm, damp air breathed on his face, and 
sighed in the distance. From over the 
fields came the note of the auail, and the 
land-rail uttered its rain-call, and softly 
fell the first drops on the dusty ground, 
and his heart rose in thanks for the gift 
of sweetest savor known to the husband- 
man, the earth-vapor in which hover all 
blessings for his cares and labor. How 
often had it refreshed his soul, chased 
away his anxieties, and renewed his hope 
of a good year ! Now he was set looie 



from care, but also from joy ; a great joy 
had gone from him, and had taken with it 
all lesser ones. 

He closed the window, and, as he turned 
round, there stood his little daughter by 
the coffin, reaching vainly toward the still 
face, as if she wovdd stroke it. He raised 
the child higher so that she could reach, 
and the little ^irl stroked and kissed the 
cold, dead cheek of her silent mother, and 
looked then at jber father with her great 
eyes, as if she would ask something un- 
speakable, and said "Mother 1 Oh 1 " 

"Yes," said Habermann, "mother is 
cold," and the tears started in his eyes, and 
he sat down on the chest, took his daughter 
on his lap, and wept bitterly. The little 
one began to weep also, and cried herself 
quietly to sleep. He laid her softly 
against his breast, and wrapped his coat 
warmly about her, and so sat he the night 
through, and held true lyke-widie over his 
wife and his happiness. 

Next morning, punctually, at four o'clock, 
came the bailiil' with the other laborers. 
The coffin was screwed up ; the procession 
moved slowly toward the church-yard ; the 
only mourners himself and his little girl. 
The coffin was lowered into the grave. A 
silent Pater Noster, — a handful of earth, 
— and the image of her who had for years 
refreshed and comforted him, rejoiced and 
enlivened, was concealed from his eyes, 
and if he would see it again he must turn 
over his heart like a book, leaf by leaf, 
until he comes to the closing page, and 
then, — yes, there will the dear image 
stand, fair and lovely before his eyes once 
more. 

He went among his people, shook hands 
with every one, and thanked them for tliis 
last service which they had rendered him, 
and then said " Good-bye " to them, gave 
to the bailiff the money for the coffin, cross 
and funeral, and then, absorbed in thought, 
started on his lonely way out into the 
gloomy future. 

As he came to the last house in the little 
hamlet, the young laborer's wife stood with 
a child on her arm before the door. He 
stepped up to her. 

" Stina, you took faithful care of my poor 
wife in her last sickness, — here, Stma," 
and would press a couple of dollars into 
her hand. 

"Herr, Herr," cried the young wife, 
"don't do me that injury I What have 
you not done for us in good days ? Why 
should we not in hard times make some 
little return? Ah, Herr, I have one favor 
to ask ; leave the child here with me ! I 
will cherish it as if it were my o\n. And 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



28 



is it not like my own? I have nursed it at 
my breast, when yom* poor wife was so 
weak. Leave me the child 1 " 

Habermann stood in deep thought. 
" HeiT," said the woman, " you will have 
to separate from the poor little thing, sooner 
or later. See, here comes Jochen, he will 
speak for himself." 

The laborer came up, and, as he heard of 
what they were speaking, said, " Yes, Herr, 
she shall be cared for like a princess, and 
we are healthy, and well to ao, and what 
you have done for us, we will richly repay 

"No," said Habermann, lifting himself 
from his thoughts, " that won't go, I can't 
do it. I may be wrong to take the child 
with me upon an uncertainty ; but I have 
left so much here, this last thing I cannot 

five up. No, no ! I can't do it," cried he 
astily and turned himself to go, " my child 
must be where I am. Adieu, Stina I Adieu, 
Rassow 1 " 

"If you will not leave us the child, 
Herr," said the laborer, " let me at least 
go with you a little way, and carry her for 
you." 

" No, N© 1 " said Habermann, " she is 
no burden for me ; " bnt he could not hin- 
der the young woman from stroking and 
kissing his little daughter, and ever again 
kissing her, nor that both these honest 
souls, as he went on his way, should stand 
long looking after him. She, with tears in 
her eyes, thousjht more of the child, he, in 
serious reflection, more of the man. 

" Stina," said he, " we shall never again 
have such a master." 

"The Lord knows that," said she, and 
both went sadly back to their daily labor. 

CHAPTER II. 

About eight miles from the place where 
Habermann had left his wife m her quiet 
grave, lay in Mecklenburg a farm of less 
than medium size, which was tenanted by 
his brother-in-law, Jochen Nussler. The 
fium-buildings had never been very sub- 
stantial, and were now much in need of re- 
pair, and moreover things were very disor- 
derly ; here a little refuse heap, and there 
another, and the wagon and farm imple- 
ments stood here and there, and mingled 
together, like the people at a fair, and the 
cart said to the wagon, "Brother, how 
came you here ? " and the rake laid hold 
of the harrow and said, " Come, dear, we 
will have a dance." But the music was 
lacking, for it was all still in the farm-yard, 
quite still. This lovely weather, all were 
in the meadow, haying, and even from the 



little open windows of the long, low, straw- 
roofed farm-house came no sound, for it 
was afternoon ; the cook had finished her 
baking, and the housemaid her cleaning, 
and both had gone together to the meadow ; 
and even the farmer's wife, who usually 
had something to say for herself, was no- 
where visible, for she also had gone from 
the farpi-yard with a rake in her hand; 
the hay must all be gathered into great 
stacks before night-fall. 

But there was yet life in the house, 
though of a little, quiet kind. In the room 
at the right of the porch, in the living- 
room, where the blue-painted comer-cup- 
board stood, — the schenky thev called it, 
and the sofa covered with black glazed 
linen, which was freshly polished up with 
boot-blacking every Saturday and the 
oaken chest of drawers with gilt ornaments, 
sat two little maidens of three years,* with 
round flaxen heads, and round rosy cheeks, 
plaving in a heap of sand, making cheeses 
with mother's thimble, and filling the damp 
sand into two little shilling pots, which 
they turned upside down, laughing and 
rejoicing if the lump stood firm. 

These were Lining and Mining Nussler, 
and they looked, for all the world, like a 
pair of Httle twin apples, growing on one 
stem ; and they were so indeed, for they 
were tw^ins, and one who did not Ibiow 
that Lining was not Mining, and Mining 
was not Lining, would be puzzled from 
morning to night, for their names were 
not written in their faces, and if their 
mother had not marked them with a col- 
ored band on the arm, there would have 
been grave doubts in the matter, and their 
father, Jochen Niissler, was even yet in 
some uncertainty; Lining was properly 
Mining, and Mining Lining, they had been 
as it were shaken up together at the out- 
set of their little lives. At present, there 
was no occasion for such perplexity, for 
the mother had tied a blue ribbon in Lin- 
ing's little flaxen curls, and a red one in 
Mining's; and if one kept that in mind, 
and observed them carefully, one would 
see plainly that Jochen Niissler was wrong, 
for Lining was half an hour older than 
Mining, and, slight as the difference was, 
the seniority maae itself quite evident, for 
Lining took the lead in everything; but 
she comforted her little sister also, when 
she was in trouble. 

Besides this little, unmistakable pair of 
twins, there was yet another pair or twins 
in the room ; but an old, experienced, cir- 
cumspect couple, who looked down from 
the chest of drawers on the children, and 
shook their heads hither and thither, in 



Digitized by 



Googk 



24 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



the light breeze which came in at the open 
window ; these were grandfather's peruke, 
and ^andmother's state-cap, which were 
paraded on a pair of cap-stocks, and which 
to-morrow, — Sunday, — would play their 
part. 

"Look, Lining," said Mining, "there 
is grandfather's puk." She could not get 
the * r ' quite right yet 

" You always say * puk ; ' you must say 
' p-u-k,' said Lining, for she also was not 
quite up to the " r ; " but being the eldest 
sne must needs direct her little sister in 
the right way. 

With that the little pair of twins got up 
and stood before the chest of drawers, and 
looked at the old pair of twins on the cap- 
stocks, and Mining, who was still very 
thoughtless, reached after the peruke 
stock, and took down grandfather's peruke, 
turned it over on her head as seemed well 
to her, and, placing herself before the 
glass, performed just as grandfather did 
on Sundays. Now was the time for Lining 
to exercise her authority, but Linine began 
to laugh, and catching the joke took down 
grandmother's cap from the other stock, 
and imitated grandmother's Sunday per- 
formances, and then Mining laughed, and 
then both laughed, and then took hold of 
hands and danced " Kringelkranz, Rosen- 
danz," and let go, and laughed again and 
joined hands again and danced. 

But Mining was quite too thoughtless, 
she had the little pot still in her hand, and 
as they were in the midst of their fim — 
crash! she let it fall on the floor, and 
there was an end of the pot, and an end of 
the sport also. Now began Mining to cry 
and lament over her pot, and Lining cried 
with her, like a little echo ; but when that 
had lasted a while, Lining began to con- 
sole: — 

" See here, Mning, the wheel-wright can 
mend it." 

" Yes," said Mining, crying more quietly, 
"the wheel-wright can mend it;" and 
upon that the two little mourners started 
out of the door, quite forgetting that 
they had grandfather's and grandmother's 
sacred Sunday gear upon their heads. 

One may wonder that Lining should ^o 
to the wheel-wright with such an affair, 
but anybody who has known a regular 
wheel-wright in that region, will under- 
stand that such a man can do everything. 
If a sheep is sick, they say, " Call the 
wheel-wright!" If a window-pane is 
broken, the wheel-wright must nail on a 
board to keep out wind and weather ; has 
an old chair dislocated its leg, he is the 
doctor ; if one wishes a plaster spread for 



a sick cow, he is the apothecarv ; in shorty 
he can mend everything, ana so Lining 
showed herself a uttle maiden of gool 
sense in going with her pot to the wheel- 
wright. 

M the little girls went through the yard, 
in at the gate came a little man, with a red 
face and a right stately red nose, which he 
carried in the air ; on his head he had a 
three-cornered cap, with a tassel in front 
of no particular color ; he wore a grey linen 
coat with long skirts, and his snort legs, 
which turned outward as if they had been 
screwed into his long body the wrong way, 
were stuck into short blue-striped trow- 
sers, and long boots with yellow tops. He 
was not exactly stout, but certainly not 
lean, and one might see that he was begin- 
ning to grow a little pot>bellied. 

The little girls must meet him on their 
way, and as they came near enough for 
the Herr Inspector — for the man with the 
little legs held such a post — to perceive 
their approach, he stooa still, ana raised 
his yellow bushy eyebrows so high that 
they went quite up under the visor of his 
cap, as if these eyebrows, being the finest 
of his features, must first of all, under 
such dangerous circumstances, be placed 
in security. "God bless us!" cried he, 
"Where are you going? What sort of 
doings are these? What! you have the 
entire Sunday finery of the two old people 
upon your heads 1 " The two little girls 
Quite patiently allowed themselves to be 
aespoiled of their finery, and showed the 
broken pieces of the pot, saying that the 
wheel-wright would mend it. " What ! " 
said the Herr Inspector Brasig, for that 
was his name, " Who in the world would 
have believed in such stupidity ? Lining, 
you are the oldest, I thought you h^ 
more sense; and Mining, don't cry any 
more, you are my little god-child, I will 
give you a new pot at the next fair. But 
now, along with you ! into the house ! " 

As he entered the living-room, and found 
no one there, he said to himself^ " To be 
sure 1 All are gone after the hay. Yes, I 
ouffht to be looking after my hay ; but the 
litUe madcaps have left these things in such 
a state, that they would be in sad ms^ace if 
the two old grannies should see tnem as 
they are now ; I must try to repair damages 
a little." With that he drew out a little 
pocket-comb, — which he kept by him be- 
cause he was ffrowinff bald, and must needs 
comb forward his bade hair, — and began to 
labour at the peruke. That did very well ; 
but now came the cap. "How the mis- 
chief. Lining, have you contrived to do it ? 
To make it look decently again is not a 



Digitized by 



Gpogk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



25 



possible thing 1 No, I must tnr to recol- 
lect how the old lady looks of a Sunday 
afternoon. In front she has a comely 
bunch of silken curls, and the front part 
of the old toggery hangs over about three 
inches, so the thinff must be set forward 
more. On top she has nothing in particu- 
lar, her bald head always shines through ; 
but behind she always has a PufiE^ wmch 
she stufis out with a bunch of tow ; that 
the little girl has quite disarranged ; that 
must be pulled out better;" and with 
that he stuck his fist in the cap, and 
widened out the puff. 

But in the back part of the puff there 
was a drawing-string, and as he was doinff 
his work thoroughly the cord broke, and 
the whole puff flew out. ** Now there, 
Btupid 1 " cned he, and his eyebrows went 
np again. ^How? This isn*t fastened 
worth a snapl With yarnl And one 
can't tie knots in it. God bless my soul ! 
What do I know about millinery? But 
hold on I We will fix you yet" And 
with that he pulled from his pocKCt a hand- 
ful of string^} — every good inspector must 
have such on hand — and began to disen- 
tangle them. *^ Pack thread is too coarse ; 
but this here, this will do well enough." 
and he began to put a nice stiff cord 
through the hem. But the job was a slow 
one, and before he was half through, some- 
body knocked at the door. He threw his 
handiwork down on the nearest chair, as 
if ashamed of it, and cried, *< Come in ! " 

The door opened, and Habermann, with 
his little daughter on his arm, stepped in. 
Inspector Brasig started up. " May you — 
keep the nose on your face," he was going 
to say, but when anything serious hap- 
pened to him he had an unfortunate habit 
of falling into Platt-Deutsch, ~ " Karl 
Habermann, where do you come from ? " 

^* Good day, Briisig," said Habermann, 
and put the child down. 

^ Karl ELibermann," cried Brasig again, 
" where do you come from ? " 

"From a place, Brasig, where I have 
now nothing more to look for," said his 
friend. " Is my sister not at home ? " 

^ They are idl in the hay ; but how shall 
I understand you ? " 

" That it is all over with me ; day before 
yesterday all my goods were sold at auc- 
tion; and yesterday morning" — here he 
turned to the window — " yesterday morur 
ing I buried my wife." 

"What? what? Oh, dear Lord 1 " cried 
the kind-hearted inspector. "Your wife? 
your dear, ffood wife?" — and the tears 
ran over his red face — " Friend, old 
friend, say, how did that happen ? " 



*^ Tes, how did it happen? " said Haber- 
mann, and seated himself and related hk 
misfortunes in few words. 

Meanwhile, Lining and Mining went 
slowly and shyly toward the strange child, 
saying nothing, but ever drawing a little 
nearer, till Lining mustered courage, and 
took hold of the sleeve of her dress, and 
Mining showed the fragments of her pot : 
"Loo^ my pot is broken." The little 
new-comer however looked around shyly 
with her large eyes, and fixed them at last 
closely upon her father. 

" Yes, Habermann closed his short 
story," it has gone hard with me, Brasig, 
and you still hold my note for two hun- 
dred dollars ; but don't press me, if God 
spares my life, you shall be honourably 
paid.** 

" Karl Habermann, — Karl Habermann," 
said Br'asig, and wiped his eyes, and 
blew his stately nose, " You are — you 
are a sheep's-head 1 Yes," said he, and 
stuffed his handkerchief fiercely into his 
pocket, and elevated his nose again, " You 
are iust the sheep's-head you always were I " 
And as if it occurred to him that his old 
friend should be diverted to other thoughts, 
he picked up Lining and Mining like a 
couple of dolls, and set them on Haber- 
mann's knee, — " There, you little rogues, 
that is your uncle I " — exactly as if Lining 
and Mming were playthings, and Haber- 
mann a little child, who might be com- 
forted by them in his trouble; and he 
himself took Habermann's little Louise on 
his arm, and danced with her about the 
room, and all this time the tears were 
running down his cheeks, and for a happy 
ending he put the child down in a chair, 
and, as it nappened, exactly the chair on 
which he had deposited his half-finished 
millinery. 

By this time the house-people were com- 
ing back from the hav-neld, and a loud, 
clear, female voice was heard without, urg- 
ing the maids to hasten. " Hurry, hurry, 
come out with your milk-pails, the sun is 
going down, and this year the pasture is 
so far off ; we shall have to milk to night 
in the twilight. Girl, where are your 
trenchers? Quick, run in and fetch them. 
Go right alonz ; I must look after my lit- 
tle ones first.'^ And into the room came a 
tall young woman, of seven and twenty 
years, full of life and energy in face and 
figure, her cheeks red with health and labor 
and the heat of the summer day, hair and 
eyes light, and forehead white as snow, so 
far as the chip hat had sheltered it from 
the sun. At the first glance one saw the 
likeness between her and Habermann, but 



Digitized by 



Googk 



26 



SEED-TIME AXD HARVEST. 



h^s features and demeanor seemed re- 
served, and hers quite fresh and open ; her 
whole appearance showed that she was as 
active a worker from temperament as he 
was from honor and duty. 

To see her brother, and to fly toward 
him was all one. " Earl, my brother Karl, 
my other father I " cried she, and hung 
about his neck ; but, as she looked more 
closely into his eyes, she held him back 
from herself: "Tell me what has hap- 

Eened, tell me what dreadful thing has 
appened ! what is it ? " 

before he could answer, her husband 
entered the door, and going up to Haber- 
mann gave him his hand, and said slowly, 
as if with an effort ; " Good day, brother- 
in-law ; takfe a seat." 

"Let him tell what has happened to 
him," cried his wife, impatiently. 

" Yes," said Jochen, " sit down, and then 
tell. Good day to you also, Brasig; sit 
down too, Brasig," and with that Jochen 
Nussler, or as he was generally called 
young Jochen, sat down himself m a cor- 
ner by the stove, which piece of furniture 
he had bought with his own separate 
money. He was a long lean man, who 
carried himself with stooping shoulders, 
and it seemed as if all his limbs had par- 
ticular objections to being put to the ordi- 
nary use. He was well on toward forty, 
his face was pale, and as dull as his speech, 
and his soft sandy hair hung in front and 
behind of equal length, over his forehead 
and the collar of his coat, and never had 
known any fashions of parting or curling ; 
his mother had frt>m his childhood up 
combed the hair over his face, and so it 
had stayed, and when it looked rather 
tangled his mother would say: "Never 
mind, Joching, the rough foal makes the 
smartest horse." Whether it was because 
his eyes must always peer through this 
long hair, or from his nature, his glance 
had something shy, as if he could not see 
things clearly or make up his mind positive- 
ly, and though he was right-handed, his 
mouth was askew. This came from tobacco- 
smokinff, for that was the one business 
which he followed with perseverance, and 
as he kept the pipe hanemg in the left cor- 
ner of his mouth, it had drawn it down in 
that direction, and, while looking at him 
from the right it seemed as if he could 
not say "zipp," from the left he ap- 
peared like an ogre who would devour 
children. 

Now he sat there in his own especial 
chimney-comer, and smoked out of his 
peculiar mouth-comer, and while his im- 
jAilsive wife for sorrow and compassion 



lamented over Habermann's story as if it 
had all happened to herself that very day, 
and now it was her brother, and now his 
little daughter that she kissed and com- 
forted, he sat and looked over at the chief 
actors, from the side next Brasig, and with 
the tobacco smoke came now and then a 
couple of broken words from the left side 
of ms mouth : " Tes, it is all so, as you say. 
It is all as true as leather. What shall we 
do about it ? " 

The Herr Inspector Brasig was the ex- 
act oppositeof young Jochen ; now he ran 
about the room, now he sat down on a 
chair, and now on a table, and worked his 
little legs with jumping up and down, like 
a linen-weaver, and when Frau Niissler 
kissed and stroked her brother, he kissed 
and stroked him also, and when Frau Niisa- 
ler took the little child in her arms and 
patted her, then he took her up afterward, 
and carried her about the room, and sat 
her down again in a chair, but always on 
grandmother's cap. 

" God bless me ! " cried the house wife 
suddenly, " have I clean forgotten every- 
thing ? Brasig, you should nave thought 
of it. All this time you have had nothing 
to eat and drink I " and with that she ran 
to the cup-board, and brought fair, white, 
country bread, and fresh butter, and went 
out and brought in sausages and ham and 
cheese, and a couple of bottles of the 
strong beer brewed especially for grand- 
father, and a pitcher of milk for the little 
ones ; and when all was neatly arranged on 
the white table-cloth, she drew her brother 
to the table, and taking up the little girl, 
chair and all, sat her down to the table 
also, and cut bread, and served them, and 
all so nimble with hand and foot, and as 
nimble with mouth and speech. And so 
bright were knife and fork, and as bright 
mien and eye; and so pure and white 
apron and table-cloth, and as pure and 
white her good heart 1 

" You shall have something next," said 
she to her little twin-apples, and stroked 
the little flaxen heads. "Little cousin 
comes first. Brasig, sit up to the table. 
Jochen, you come too." 

" Yes, I may as well," said Jochen, took 
a long, last pull at his pipe, and brought 
his chair and himself to the table. 

" Karl," said Briisig, " I can recommend 
these sausages, your sister has an uncom- 
mon knack at them, and I have many a 
time told my housekeeper she should get 
the recipe, for the old woman menses aU 
sorts of unnatural things together, which 
don't harmonize at all; in snort there is 
no suitability or oonnection, although the 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SBBD-TIME AND HABVBST. 



27 



ingredients are as good as a swine fed ex- 
clusively on peas can furnish." 

** Mother, help Brasig/' said Jochen. 

"Thank you, Frau NUssler; but with 

Cr leave I will take my drop of Etimmel. 
1, since the time when you and I and 
that rascal Pomuchelskopp were serving 
our apprenticeship under old Krinkstadt, 
I have accustomed mvself to take a little 
Kiimmel with my breakfast, or with my bit 
of supper, and it suits me well, thank God 1 
But, Karl, how came you to get in with 
that rascal Pomuchelskopp? *I told you 
lon^ ago the beggar was not to be trusted ; 
he 13 such an old snake, he is a crafty 
hound, in short, he is a Jesuit." 

**Ah, Brasig/' said Habermann, "we 
won't talk about it. It is true he might 
have treated me differently, but still I 
was to blame ; whv did I fall in with his 
proposal ? Something else is in my head 
now. If I could only have a place 
again!" 

"Of course, you must have a place 
again. My gracious Herr Count is looking 
out for a competent inspector for his prin- 
cipal estate ; but, Karl, don't take it ill of 
me, that woiildn't suit you. Do you see, you 
must be rigged every morning with freshly 
blacked boots and a tight-fitting coat, and 
you must talk High-German to him, for he 
regards Platt-Deutsch as uncultivated, and 
then you have all the women about your 
neck, for they rule everything there. And 
if you could get along with the boots and 
the dress-coat, and the High-German, — for 
you used to know it weU enough, though 
you may be a little out of practice now, — 
yet the women would be too much for you. 
The gracious Countess looks after you in 
the cow-stable and in the pig-pen. In 
short it is a service like — what shall I 
say V like Sodom and Gomorrah 1 " 

** Look here I " cried the mistress of the 
house, " it just occurs to me that the Pum- 
pelhagen inspector is going to leave on St. 
John's day ; that will be the place for you, 
Karl." 

"Frau Niissler is always right," said 
Brasig. "What the Herr KammerroM 
von Pumpelhagen is, — for he laid the em- 
phasis in the man's title always upon rath, 
so that it seemed as if he and the Kammer- 
rath had served in the army together, or 
at least had eaten out of the same spoon 
and platter, — " what the Herr Kammerrath 
von Pumpelhagen is, nobody knows better 
than I. A man who thinks much of his 
people, and gives a good salary, and is 
quite a gentleman of the old schooL He 
knew you too, in old times, KarL That is 
the right place for you, and tonnorrow I 



will go over there ¥rith you. What do you 
say to it, young Jochen ? " 

" Yes," said Herr Niissler, " it is all as 
true as leather." 

" Bless me I " cried the young wife, and 
an anxious look overspread her handsome 
face, " how I forget everything to-day I K 
grandfather and grandmother knew that 
we were sitting down to supper with com- 
pany, and they not called, thev would 
never forgive me. Sit a little closer to- 
gether, children. Jochen, you might have 
thought of it." 

" Yes, what shall I do about it now ? " 
said Jochen, as she was already out of the 
room. 

It was not long before the two old peo- 
ple came back with her, shuffling in with 
their leathern slippers. Upon both their 
faces lay that luri^p^ expectation and that 
vague curiosity which comes from very 
duU hearing, and which quite too easily 
passes into an expression of obstinacy and 
distrust. It has justly been said that mar- 
ried people, who have lived long together, 
and nave thought and cared and worked 
for the same objects, come at last to look 
like each oUier ; and even if that is not true 
of the cut of the features, it holds good for 
the expression. Both looked like people 
who never had allowed themselves any 
pleasure or satisfaction which would be in 
the least expensive; both looked shabby 
and dingy in their clothing, as if they must 
still be sparing and tug at the wheel, and 
as if even water cost money. No look of 
comfort in their old age, no pleasure 
sparkled in their eyes, for they had had but 
one pleasure in their whole lives, — that was 
their Jochen and his good success; now 
the^ were laid aside and heaviness lay on 
their natures, and on their only joy, for 
Jochen was quite too heavy ; but for his 
success they still cared and toiled, — it 
was the last goal of their lives. 

The old man was almost imbecile, but 
the old woman still kept her faculties, and 
her eyes glanced furtively into all the cor- 
ners, like a pair of sharpers watching their 
opportunity. 

Habermann rose and gave his hand to 
the two old people, and his sister stood by, 
looking anxiously in their faces to see what 
they thought of the visit. She had already 
tola them the occasion of her brother's 
coming, and that might have been the rea- 
son why their faces looked sourer than 
usual ; or it might have been on account 
of the luxurious supper with which the ta- 
ble was spread. 

The old folks sat down to the table. 
The old woman looked sharply at Haber- 



Digitized by 



/Googk 



28 



SBBD-TIME AND HARVEST. 



mann's little girl. ''Is that his?" she 
asked. 

The young woman nodded. 

** Going to stay here ? " she asked fur- 
ther. 

The young woman nodded again. 

''So I "'said the old woman, and pro- 
longed the word, as if to indicate all the 
damage which she expected her Jochen to 
suffer on that account. " Yes, times are 
hard," she be^an, as if she must have a 
fling at the times, " and one has enough 
to do to carry oneself through the world." 

The old man all the time was looking at 
the beer bottles and Braaig's glass. " Is 
that my beer ? " asked he. 

" Yes," shouted Brasiginto his ear,*" and 
it is fine beer, which Frau Niissler has 
brewed, a good cordial for a thin, weak 
person.". 

" Too extravagant ! Too extravagant 1 " 
muttered the om man to himself The 
old woman ate, but kept looking away, 
over the table, toward the chest of (&awers. 

The young wife, who must have studied 
attentively the old woman's behavior, 
looked in the same direction, and perceived 
with horror that the cap was missing from 
the stand. "Good heavens 1 what had 
become of the cap?" She had herself 
that very morning plaited it and hung it up 
on the stand. 

"Where is my cap for to-morrow?" 
asked the old woman, at last 

"Never mind now, mother," said the 
young woman, bending toward her, " I will 
get it for you by and by." 

"Is it all plaited?" 

The young woman nodded, and thought 
surely now grandmother would be satis- 
fied ; but the old woman glanced her eyes 
sideways about the room, as, fifty years 
ago, she had been used to look at youns 
men. • The Herr Inspector Brasig called 
his sins to mind, as they began to talk 
about the cap, and tried, in a couple of 
hasty glances, to ascertain what had be- 
come of the affair; but he had not much 
time, for there shot over the old woman's 
face such a bittersweet, venomous grin, 
that she reminded one of the dry bread 
steeped in poisonous syrup with which one 
catches flies. 

" Are you sure you plaited it ? " said 
she, and pointed to Habermann's little 
Louise. 

"Good heavens, what is that I ^* cried 
the young woman, and sprang up and per- 
ceived an end of the cap-string hanging 
out under ihe child's little dress. She 
lifted the child, and would have taken the 
head-gear, but the old woman was quicker. 



Hastily she seized her disordered finery, 
and, as she perceived the burst-out puff 
and Brasig's half-inserted drawing-string, 
the venom broke out, and, holding up the 
cap, "Mischievous child 1" cried she, and 
made a motion as if she would box the 
child's ears with it. 

But Brasig caught her arm, and cried, 
" The child luiows nothing^bout it ; " and 
to himself he muttered, "The old dragon I" 
And behind grandmother's chair began a 
sreat crying, and Mining sobbed, " Won't 
do it again 1 Won't do it again I " and 
Lining sobbed also, "Won't do it again 1 
Won't do it again I" 

" Bless my soul 1 " cried the young wo- 
man, "our own children have done the 
mischief. Mother, it was our own chil- 
dren I " But the old woman had all her 
life understood too well what was for her 
own advantage, not to know in her old 
age how to profit by her grievances ; what 
she would not hear, she did not hear, and 
she would not hear this. She called and 
beckoned to Uie old man : " Ck>me ! ^' 

"Mother, mother," begged the young 
woman, " give me the cap, I will make it 
aU ns^t again." 

" Who is up in the pasture ? " asked the 
old woman, and went with old Jochen out 
of the door. 

Young Jochen lighted his pipe. " Grod 
bless me I " said the voung woman, " she 
is right, I must go to the pasture. Grand- 
mother will not think well of me for the 
next four weeks." 

"Gruff was an old dog," said Brasig, 
"but Gruff )iad to give in at last" 

" Don't cry any longer, you poor little 
things," said the mother, drying her chil- 
dren's tears. "You didn't mean any 
harm, but you are too heedless. And now 
behave well, and play with little cousin. 
I must go. Jochen, look after the children 
a little, ' and with that she put on her 
chip hat and went to the pasture. 

" Mothers-in-law are the devil's daw I " 
said Brasig. "But you, young Jochen," 
turning to the man, who sat there as if 
his mother and his wife were no concern 
of his, " you should be ashamed of your- 
self to let your wife be so abused by the 
old woman." 

"Yes? what shall I do about it, being 
her son ? " said younff Jochen. 

"You cannot beat her, to be sure, since 
they are unfortunately your parents; but 
you might give a fikal admonition, now 
and then, like a dutiful son, that the devil 
in her must be cast out, if she will not 
keep peace in the family. And you, Karl 
Habermann, don't take this little quarrel 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



too much to heart; for jour dear sister 
has a good temper and a joyous heart. 
She soon gets over it, and the old terma- 
gant must ffive in at last, for they can do 
nothing without her. The young woman 
is the mainspring of the house. ** But " — 
here he drew out from his pocket an im- 
mense double-cased watch, such a thing as 
one calls a warming-pan — ''really, it is 
close upon seven 1 I must hurry, for my 
people need looking after.' 

** Hold on," said Habermann, " I will go 

Sart way with you. Good-bye for so long, 
ochen." 

" Good-bye, also, brother-in-law," said 
Jochen, and remained sitting in his comer. 

As they came out of doors, Habermann 
Baid, ''But, Brasig, how can you speak 
so of the old people, in uieir son's 
presence ? " 

"He is used to it. Earl. No devil 
could endure those two old dogs^in-the- 
manger. They have embroiled them- 
selves with the whole neighborhood, and 
as for the servants, they run miles to get 
out of their way." 

" Good heavens," said Habermann, " my 
poor sister I She was such a joyous child, 
and now in such a house, and with such a 
lout of a man ! " 

" There you are right, Earl, he is an old 
lout (Niiss), and Nuraler is his name ; but 
he does not treat your sister badly, and, 
although he is an old blockhead and has 
no sort of smartness about him, he is not 
yet so dull that he cannot see how your 
sister manages the whole concern." 

" The poor girl I On my account, that 
she might not be a burden on me, as she 
said, and tbat our old mother might see 
one of her children settled before her death, 
she took the man. 

"I know all about it. Earl, I know it 
from my own experience. Don't you re- 
member ? It was in rye-harvest, and you 
said to me, ' Zachary,' said you, ' your ac- 
tivity is a disadvantiEige to you, you are 
carrying in your rye still damp.' And I 
said, ' How so? ' For on Sunday we had 
already had Streichelber, and your sister 
was there also, and with such weather why 
shouldn't I get in my rye? And then I 
told you, unless I am mistaken, that of my 
three partners I would marry no other than 
your sister. Then you laughed again, so 
mischievously, and said, she was still too 
young. ' What has her youth to do with 
it?' said I. Then you said again my 
other two partners had the first chance, 
and laughed, not believing I was in ear- 
nest ; and so the matter dawdled along for 
awhile, for my gracious Herr Count would 



not ^ve his consent, and allowed no mar- 
ried inspectors. And next thing it was 
too late, for young Jochen had spoken for 
her, and your mouier was on his side. No, 
it was not to be," said the honest old fel- 
low, looking pensively along his nose, "but 
when I see her little rogues of twins, and 
think to myself that they ought rightly to 
be mine, listen to me. Earl, then f feel as 
if I could trample the old woman and old 
Jochen and young Jochen into the ground 
together. But it is a real blessing to the 
old Jesuits that your sister has came into 
the house, with her kind heart and cheer- 
ful disposition; for if they had had a 
dauehter-in-law of a diflerent sort, they 
would long since have been dead and 
buried." 

With these words, they had come out of 
the hamlet, and as they turned by the 
farm-garden Habermann exclaimed, " Good 
heavens, can it be that the two old people 
are standing on that hill? " 

"Yes," said Biiisig, with a scornful 
lau^h, "there is the old pack of Jesuits 
again at their place of retirement." 

" Retirement ! " exclaimed Habermann. 
"On a hill-top I" 

"It is even sa Earl. The old reptile 
trusts nobody, not her o^ children, and 
if she has something to say which her 
ordinary gestures and pantomime will not 
suffice for, then they always come here to 
this steep hill, where they can see all 
around if any one is within hearing, and 
then they shout their secrets in each 
other's ears. Yes, now they are in fuU 
conclave, the old woman has laid a drag- 
on's egst, and they are setting on it to- 
gether.'^ 

" She is so hasty and passionate," said 
Habermann. "Just see how the old 
woman gesticulates 1 What would she 
have?" 

"I know riffht well what they are de- 
liberating and ruminating upon. I can 
understand a himdred paces off, ^or I 
know her of old. And karl," he added, 
after a little thought, raising his eyebrows, 
" it is best you £ould know all, that you 
may hold yourself ready ; they are tallung 
of you and your little one." 

"Of me, and my little girl?" asked 
Habermann, in astonishment. 

" Yes, Earl. You see if you had come 
with a ffreat bag of money, they would 
have welcomed you with open arms, for 
money is the one thing which they hold in 
respect ; but in your temporair embarrass- 
ment they look upon you ana your little 
girl as nothing better than a couple of in- 
truders, who will take the bread from their 



Digitized by 



Googk 



80 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



months, and from their old blockhead of a 
Jochen." 

"God bless me!" cried Habermami, 
" why didn't I leave the child with the Ras- 
Bows ? What shall I do with the poor lit- 
tle thing ? Do you know any expedient ? 
I cannot leave her here, not even with my 
own sister can I leave her here." 

"But naturally, you wish to have her 
near you. Now I will tell you, Karl, to- 
nighb you must stay with the Niissler's ; to- 
morrow we will go to the Herr Kammer- 
rath at Fumpelhagen. If that goes well, 
then we can find a place for the child here 
in the neighbourhood; if aot, we will ride 
to the city, and there we must find some 
opening, — if not otherwise, with the mer- 
chant Eurzen. And now good-bye, Karl 1 
Don't take the matter too much to heart, — 
things will improve, Karll" whereupon he 
departed. 

" Yes, if all were like you," said Haber- 
mann, as he went back to his sister's house, 
" then I should get over the steep moun- 
tain ; but get over it I must, and will," and 
the cheerful courage, which had been 
nurtured by labor and his feeling of duty, 
broke through the gloom, like the sun 
through a mist. "My sister shall suffer 
no inconvenience on my account, and I will 
take care of my child myself." 

In the evening, when the milk had been 
cared for, Habermann walked with his sis- 
ter along the earden-path, and, she spoke 
of his, and he oi her, troubles. 

" Eh, Karl," said she, "don't fret about 
me ! I am used to it all now. Yes, it is 
true, the old folks are very selfish and irri- 
table ; but if they sulk at me for a week, 
I forget it all the next hour, and as for 
Jochen, I must own that he lays nothing 
in mv way, and has never given me a hard 
word. If he were only a little more active 
and ready, — but that is not to be looked 
for in him. I have enough to do in my 
house-keeping, but I have to concern my- 
self with the out-of-door work, too, which 
is not a woman's business, and there Bra- 
sig is a real comfort to me, for he has an 
eye to the fields and the farm-yard, and 
starts Jochen up a little." 

"Does the rarming go well on the 
whole, and do you come out right at the 
year's end? " asked the brother. 

" It does not go as well as it ought. We 



are too sparing for that, and the old folks 
will not allow us to make any changes or 
improvements. We come out right, and 
the rent is always paid promptly, but there 
are Jochen's two old brothers-in-law, the 
merchant Kurzen, and the Rector Baldrian 
— they made quite a stir about it, and set 
the old people and us by the ears because 
they wanted their share of the property. 
The Rector doesn't really need it, but he 
is such an old miser ; but Kurzen could 
use his money, for he is a merchant, and 
will yet have a large business. But the 
two old people wish to cive almost every- 
thing to Jochen, and wi^ that which they 
have kept back for themselves they cannot 
part, and the old woman has an old rhyme, 
which she always quotes, if one touches on 
the subject : — 

** Who to his children gives his bread. 
Himself shall sufifer need instead, 
And with a dab be stricken dead." 

But it is wronff, all wrong, and no bless- 
ing can come of it, for one child is as good 
as another, and at first I said that right 
out to the oldpeople. Oh, what an uproar 
there was I They had earned it, and what 
had I brought into the family ? Upon my 
knees I pught to thank God and them, 
that they would make a man of Jochen. 
But I have persuaded Jochen, so that to 
Kurzen at least he has from time to time 
given upwards of fifteen hundred thalers. 
The old woman has noticed it, to be sure, 
and has reckoned it all up, but she does 
not know yet the truth of the matter; be- 
cause, since Jochen is rather slow, and is 
not used to reckoning, I keep the purse 
myself, and there I positively will not al- 
low grandmother to interfere. No, grand- 
mother, I am not so stupid as that I If I 
have a house of my own, I will have my 
own purse. And that is their great 
grievance, that they can no longer play 
the guardian over Jochen ; but Jochen is 
almost forty, and if he will not rule him- 
self then I will rule him, for I am his wife, 
and the nearest to him, as our Frau Pas- 
torin says. Now, tell me, Karl, am I right 
or am I wrong ? " 

"You are right, Diirten," said Haber- 
mann. 

With that they said good-night, and 
went to bed. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



RABELAIS. 



81 



From MacmlllAn'a Magasina 
RABELAIS. 

The ordinary notions of Rabelais are 
derived partly from Pope's famous, but 
not very wise line, and partly from the 
fact of ms being generally called the ^ cur^ 
of Meudon," an appointment which he held 
for less than two years, out of a life of 
seventy. 

We picture him to ourselves as a jovial 
priest, with a reputation by no means 
doubtful ; a heathen in his worship of two 
at least of the Latin deities: one who 
mumbled a mass and bawled a drinkins- 
song ; who spent the briefest time possible 
over vespers, and the longest possible over 
supper; who laughed and mocked at all 
things human and divine ; who was a hog 
for appetite, and a monkey for tricks. 

He has been described, by men profess- 
ing to write about him, as a Lutheran, a 
Catholic, a Calvinist; as a great moral 
teacher, a mere buffoon, and a notorious 
infidel. Partizans look on this many-sided 
man from their own side only. For, in a 
way, he was most of these things. He was 
a Catholic, inasmuch as he never left the 
Church in which he was born ; he was a 
Protestant, so far as he devoted his best 
energies to pour contempt on abuses 
which were the main causes of Protestant- 
ism ; and he was an infidel to the extent 
of refusing to accept the teaching either 
of Rome or of Geneva, of Luther or the 
Sorbonne. To paint him as a moral 
teacher alone is to ignore the overwhelm- 
ing drollery of his character ; while to set 
him up as a mere merry-andrew is to for- 
get the earnestness — not much like that 
of the nineteenth century, but something 
as real, if not so feverish — which under- 
lies his writings, and makes itself felt when- 
ever he is not laughing with you and for 
you. 

Let us get at the real story of his life. 
The facts are not many, so far as they can 
be ascertained, and will not take long 
telling. 

He was bom about the year 1483,* at 
Chinon, in Touraine, where his father ap- 
pears to have had a hostelry and a sm^ 
farm. A good deal of discussion has been 
raised as to. the qualitv and condition of 
his family, but alter lour hundred years 
we can afford to be careless about the 
question. In those davs, and indeed long 
afterwards, lowness oi birth furnished a 
tremendous weapon of offence in literary 
controversy. They hurled at Rabelais, for 

* This date is disputed, some patting his birth in 
the year 14.ii6. There does not eeem suUlcient rea- 
son for departing ttom the reoelTed tradition. 



instance, the fact of his father having kept 
an inn, and waited, looking to see him sud- 
side, which he unaccoimtably refused to 
do. In later years M. Jean Baptiste Po- 
quelin, and later still, M. Fran9ois Marie 
Arouet, suffered a good deal from similar 
taunts ; while, before either of them was 
born, poor Th^ophile Viaud, when his ene- 
mies contemptuously called him Viaut, — 
an insult which deprived lum of all claim 
to territorial gentuity, — was reduced to 
mere dre»s of despair and rage. 

Rabelais, then, was of the middle class. 
In an evil hour, while yet a boy, he en- 
tered the convent of Fontenay-le-Comte, 
and became a Franciscan monk, one of 
that order to whom all study was a crimi- 
nal waste of time, and the study of Greek, 
in jparticular, a deadly sin. There he re- 
mamed for fifteen years, becoming a priest 
about the year 1511. Very fortunately 
for himself, he had made, before putting 
on the monastic robe, some friends who 
never deserted him, especially Andr^ Ti- 
raqueau, who helped him in his sorest 
need ; Geofiroi d'Estissao, afterwards. Bish- 
op of Maillezais; and the brothers Du 
Bellay, all of whom became eminent men. 

Perhaps by the help of tliese friends, 
perhaps by his own ingenuity, he found 
means to carry on his studies, and even 
to keep up a correspondence in Greek 
with Budaeus. It was somewhere about 
1520 that the Chapter of the convent — 
who, one would think, must have had for 
some time suspicions of the abominable 
thing going on within their walls — made 
a sudden raid on the cells of Rabelais and 
his friend Pierre Lamy, and found there, 
not without horror, Greek books, l^en a 
mysterious event occurred, for which no 
reasons, save vague and incredible reasons, 
have ever been assigned. Rabelais was 
condemned to the punishment called ''in 
pace ; " that is, to imprisonment in the 
aungeons of the convent for the whole 
term of his natural life, on bread and 
water. How long he remained in this se- 
clusion we do not know. His friends, and 
especially Tiraqueau, now Governor of 
Touraine, getting some inkling of his 
misfortune, managed, by force, it is said, 
to get him out. He appears to have then 
gone into hiding for some time, until, bv 
the special permission of the Pope, in 1524, 
he passed over to the Benedictine Order, 
into the Abbey of Maillezais. Here he 
was further permitted to hold whatever 
benefices might be given him, in spite of 
his Franciscan vow of poverty. 

Once havinff got his protection from the 
Franciscans, Rabelais seems to have cared 



Digitized by 



Googk 



82 



RABELAIS. 



very little abont conciliating the Benedic- 
tines. On the contrary, he threw aside 
the monastic garb altogether, put on that 
of a secular priest, and became secretary 
to the Bishop of MaiUezais. Perhaps the 
Benedictines were content to see him go 
His presence among them would be cer- 
tainly considered as a gene, and probably 
an insult. It was as if among the magic 
circle of the Senior Fellows — say, of 
Trinity — were intruded one whose chief 
article of belief was that all fellowships 
should be abolished, and who was known 
to secretly advocate the sale of college 
livings and the abolition of college feasts. 

It is^ uncertain how long he remained 
with the Bishop. Somewhere about 1530 
he went to the Universitv of Montpellier. 
His feats at that school of learning are too 
long to narrate; how he was received 
among them by acclamation; how he 
pleaded the privileges of the university in 
— let us say, n afferent languages, the 
number varying according to the imagina- 
tion of the narrator; how he wrote and 
acted farces ; how he lectured, and how he 
laughed. After two years at Montpellier 
he went to Lyons, on the invitation of his 
friend, Etienne Dolet. Here he published 
the second volume of the medical letters 
of Manardi, " Hippocratis et Galeni libri 
aliquot ;" and a forgery, of which he 
was the dupe, of a Latin will. Finding 
that the demand for these works was 
but small, he revenged himself, as tradi- 
tion says, with considerable air of proba- 
bility, by writing the " Chronique Gar- 
gantuine." 

This had an enormous and immediate 
success, and was followed, in 1533, by the 
first book of " Pantagruel," of which three 
editions were sold the same year ; and in 
1534 bv " Gargantua," a revised and much 
altered edition of the " Chronique." 

In 1534 he accompanied Jean du Bellay, 
Bishop of Paris, in his journey to Rome, ] 
whither he went to effect a reconciliation, 
if possible, between Henry the Eighth and i 
the Pope. Returning to Lyons, he did| 
good service to literature by publishing 
Marliani's " Topography of Ancient Rome, | 
and at the same time an Almanack fori 
1535. The affair of the placards at Paris | 
happened about this time, and Rabelais,! 
as deeply inimical to the Sorbonne as any, 
thought it prudent, with all the band of 
novcUeurs and free-thinkers, to take refuge 
in Italy till the storm blew over. He 
seems to have chosen the safest place in 
Europe for a man of heretical opinions — 
Rome ; here he obtained permission to 
lay aside the Benedictine nabit and* to 



practise medicine gratuitously, and as 
soon as possible he got back to France. 

He was now getting old. Peace and 
tran(^uillity came to him at last. He Jot 

Sermission of the Pope to quit the Bene- 
ictine Order, the habit of which he had 
previously laid aside. The powerful fam- 
ily Du Bellay protected and loved him. 
The Cardinal gave him a Canonry; Mar- 
tin du Bellay (the roi d'Yvetot) enter- 
tained him in Normandy, R6n^ du Bellay 
at Maur; and GuiUaume du Bellay, 
Seigneur de Langey, had the author of 
"Pantagruel" with him as much as he 
could. 

In 1546 appeared the "third book," 
protected by royal privilege. The ap- 
pearance of this, and the failure of the 
Sorbonne either to prevent its appearance 
or to prosecute the author, caused 'a long 
series of vexatious attempts to attack 
him through numerous imitations of his 
work. These all fell to the ground, and 
leaving his enemies to do their worst, he 
went once more to Rome, in 1548, with 
Cardinal du Bellay. 

Through the influence of Diane de 
Poitiers, he obtained a privilege from 
Henry the Second for his ** fourth book." 
It was printed in 1552, but prevented from 
appearing till the following year. 

In January 1553 he resigned his living 
of St. Christophe, which had been given 
him by R^n6 du Bellay. On the 9th of 
February he resigned the living of Meudon, 
which he had held for two years only. 
His "fourth book" appeared in March, 
and in April he died. 

It is important to bear in mind, when 
reading his works, some of their dates : 

1488. His birth. 

1588. PanUgruel, Book L — oommonly called 

the second book. 
1584. Gargantua. 
1546. PanUgrael, Book II. —called the third 

book. 
1568. Pantagruel, Book IIL— called the 

fourth. 
— His death 

And, in 1562, appeared the first sixteen 
chapters of the last book. 

The " fourth book," therefore, was given 
to the world a few days before his death ; 
while the last did not appear till ten years 
afterwards. 

When the first book of "Pantagruel" 
was written, the author was fifty years 
of age. It was not the work of a young 
man; there was no justification ror its 
faults on the score of youth, and no inex- 
perience to plead in modification of its 



Digitized by 



Googk 



RABELAIS. 



33 



judgments. The wisdom of a life spent 
in study was to be expected ; the fruits of 
many a year's toil ; the results of observa- 
tion of many men and many manners. 
The age of the author is, indeed, one of 
the most singular things about it. At a 
time when most men, diUled by disappoint- 
ment, and saddened by the loss of all their 
youthful illusions, begin to fall back upon 
that gravity of resignation which is one of 
the saddest properties of a^e, Rabelais, 
with the freshness of twenty, but with the 
wisdom of fifty, begins first to accuse, then 
to instruct, and finally to laugh at the 
world. There can be no doubt that his 
first intention, when he wrote the " Chro- 
nique Gargantuine,'' a mere farrago of 
nonsense, was to write a burlesque on the 
romances of the dav, full of giants, knights, 
and tales of enchantment. Succeeding 
beyond his hopes, achieving a sudden rep- 
utation in a new and hitherto untried line, 
he continued his tale. But then the im- 
possible became, by slow degrees, possible 
and human : bv slow degrees, because he 
could not suddenly, nor altogether, aban- 
don the burlesque, and because the quaint 
and misshapen creations of his fancy took 
time to alter their forms, and become, 
even approximately, men. Not men and 
women, because I^belais has no women 
in his books. Man's heart he could read, 
but not woman's. Like Swift, he shows 
no signs of pasaiom. Unlike Swift, he did 
not write till an age when the passion of 
his youth had had time to consume itself 
in those long days and nights of toil dur- 
ing which he secretly rcSd Plato in the 
convent cell of Fontenay-le-Comte. His 
monastic manhood betrays itself in this, 
that there is no word in his books to show 
that he even guessed at the possibility of 
the purity of love, or the chance that 
Heaven created the other sex for other 
purpose than a snare and an occasion for 
falling to men. Passion was not in Swift's 
nature; it was killed in Rabelais. The 
ffreat fault, common to both, is worse in 
Swift than in Rabelais, because the former 
always mixed fireely with men and women, 
while the latter belonged wholly to men. 
We cannot help a comparison of some sort 
between the two, but how immeasurably^ 
superior is Rabelais in sympathy, in digm- 
ty, in power of conception, and in all those 
fine touches which show the insight of 
genius. 

We are also reminded of Cervantes. 
He, too, resolved on writing a burlesque 
on romances. Presently the caricatures 
he has conceived begin to show human 
properties. The moon-struck madness of 

UVINO AOB. VOL. XX. 889 



Don Quixote is not incompatible with wis- 
dom of the highest kind, chivalry of the 
highest type. Sancho, who at first follows 
his master in the hope of bettering his for- 
tunes, follows him uterwards from the no- 
blest sense of affectionate loyalty, when all 
his hopes of fortune are scattered. And as 
Pantagruel becomes the wisest of kings, 
Don Quixote becomes the knightliest of 
knights. For life is too serious to make 
good burlesque writing possible except 
within very narrow limits; and directly 
the puppets touch on human interests, they 
become themselves human. 

It is impossible, in this brief space to 
convey to those who do not know Kabelais, 
any adequate conception of the book or the 
man ; too many things require illustration ; 
too many points require to be dwelt upon. 
For those who do not know him, an apology 
is due for the mere attempt to consicfer 
him in these few columns. 

Let us however, keeping the comic ele- 
ment as much as possible out of considera- 
tion, try a brief notice of the contents of 
the books. 

The first is of the great giant Gargantua, 
son of Grandgousier (and GarsameUe), his 
birth, childhood, education, and triumphant 
victories over King Picrochole. This Dook, 
altered as it is from its original form, is 
full of absurdities and extravagances. 
Gargantua rides a great mare to Paris, 
who by the whiskine of her .tail knocks 
down whole forests ; he robs Notre Dame 
of its bells ; he combs the cannon balls out 
of his hair after a battle ; he eats up six 
pilgrims in a salad, who live for some time 
m the valleyb and recesses of his mouth — 
with other diverting incidents, most of 
which are to be found in the first edition. 
The satirical element is much stronger in 
this book than in the first of " Pantacruel," 
which, as has been stated, appeared oefore 
it. It may be here remarked, that no- 
where does Rabelais satirize the institution 
of royalty, or the profession of healing, the 
two things in the world for which he seems 
to have had a real respect. 

Gargantua's education is at first confided 
to sophisters and schoolmasters. With 
them he leads the life of a clown. On ris- 
ing, he combs his hair with the German 
comb, that is, his ten fingers, his preceptors 
instructing him that to wash and make 
himself neat is to lose time in this world. 
Then he gorges himself at breakfast. Af- 
ter brealuast he goes to church, where he 
hears " six-and-twenty or thirty masses." 
These despatched, he studies for a paltry 
half-hour, nia heart being in the kitchen. 
After a huge and Gargantuan dinner, he 



Digitized by 



Googk 



84 



RABELAIS. 



talks and plays with his attendants. Then 
he sleeps two or three hours, ** without 
thinking or speaking any harm." After 
this he drinks, rea<u a little, visits the 
kitchen to see what roast meat is on the 
spit, sups, goes to bed and sleeps till eieht. 
Pohocrates, his new tutor, reforms all this, 
and, by dint of patience, succeeds in mak- 
ing him forget his old habits. He now 
rises at four, when he begins the day with 
prayer and the Holy Scripture, and spends 
the momine (not a word now of even a 
single mass) in lectures and philosophical 
discourse. Then to tennis; after which, 
dinner. At dinner, the talk is of the 
" virtue, propriety, efficacy, and nature of 
all that was served in at the table . . . bv 
means whereof he learns in a little time all 
the passages competent for this that are 
found in Rato, Athen»us, Dioscorides, 
Julius Pollux, Galen, Porphyrins, Oppian, 
Polybius, Heliodorus, Aristotle, .£lian, and 
. others." 

Then they practise tricks with cards, by 
which he learns arithmetic ; after this they 
sing, and then practise horsemanship and 
all manner of manly exercises. Returning 
home through the meadows, they herborize 
and study botany, and then, bemg arrived 
at their lodging, Gargantua sups, after- 
wards singins, learning astronomy, or play- 
ing cards till l>edtime. " Then prayed they 
unto God the Creator, falling down before 
Him, and strengthening their faith towards 
Him : and so glorifying Him for His bound- 
less bounty; and giving thanks to Him 
for the time that was past, they recom- 
mended themselves to the Divine clemency 
for the future." 

The most remarkable chapters in this 
book (all written for the second edition, 
are those which describe Friar John's mon- 
astery of Thelem6 (BeX/jfui). This was 
built and instituted after the holy friar's 
own scheme, to serve as a model for ever 
for all future convents. First, there was 
to be no wall round it; and because in 
some monasteries they sweep the ground 
after a woman has crossed it. Friar John 
ordained that if any regular monk enter 
the monastery every room through which 
he has pass^ shall he thoroughly scrubbed, 
cleansed, and purified. And because in all 
convents eve^hing is done by hours, it is 
here strictly enjoined that no clock or dial 
at aJl be set up. For the occupants, they 
are to consist of women, but only those 
who are fair, well-featured, and of a sweet 
disposition; and of men, but only those 
w]io are cotiHely and well-conmtioned. 
Anvbody may go where he or she likes, 
and they have free permission to marry, 



to get rich, and generally to do as they 
please. 

The buildings of the monastery, which 
are more splendid than those of ChantiUy 
or of Chamb^ry, are described, and the 
fancy of the writer runs riot in picturing 
all the splendour, luxury, and comfort he 
can conceive. Thus, by the river Loire, 
the Thelemites spend their lives, not by 
laws and statutes, but according to their 
own free-will and pleasure. In all their 
regulations there is but one of universal 
application — "Do what thou wilL" On 
the principles of natural religion, or rather 
of good breeding, the monastery of Thelem^ 
is to be governed, "because men that are 
free, weU-bom, well-bred, and conversant 
in honest companies, have naturally an in- 
stinct or spur which prompts them to vir- 
tuous actions ; " herem the author seeming 
to ^t dangerously near the heresy of Pe- 
la^ms. 

The real hero of Rabelais is Pantagruel, 
son of Gargantua, and not Panurge as 
most writers have said. At his birUi, his 
mother Badebec dies, so that Gargantua is 
divided between weeping for grief at the 
loss of his wife, and rejoicing at the birth 
of so fair a son. 

*<*Ah! Badebeo, Badebeo, my dear heart, 
my honey, my tender wife, never shall I see 
thee again. Ah! poor Pantagruel, thou hast 
lost thy good mother." 

** With these words he did ory like a oow, bat 
on a sudden f^ a-laaghing like a calf, when 
Pantagruel came into his mind. * Ha, my lit- 
tle son,* said he, * my ohildilolly, my dandli- 
chucky, my pretty rogae. . . O how jolly thou 
art! . . . Ho! ho! ho! ho! how glad I am! Let 
us drink.' "♦ 

The earlier years of Pantagruel, which 
show too close a connection with the 
" Chroniaue Grargantuine," may be passed 
over. When he grows older he visits the 
different French universities, Montpellier, 
Valence, Bourges, Orleans — where he 
meets the Limousin scholar who talks the 
new Latin-French — and Paris, which ^ves 
the author an opportunity of giving his fa- 
mous catalogue of the library. 

And then comes Gargantua's noble let- 
ter to his son, exhorting him to study. 

** And that which I now write to thee is not 
80 much that thou shouldst Uto in this virtuous 
course, as that thou shouldest rejoice in so liv- 
ing and having lived, and cheer thyself ap with 
the like resolution in time to come; to the pros- 
ecution and aooompUshment of which enteiprise 
and generous undertaking thou mayest easily 

• From irdyra, mqFS Ba b elali, and gruel, whJoh 
**lii the Hagarene laognage doth slipiUjr tMrtty.** 



Digitized by 



Googk 



RABBLAIS. 



85 



ranember how that I have spared nothing to see 
thee onoe in mj life completely weH-brad and 
Moompliehed; as well in TirtHe, honesty, and 
Taloor, as in all liberal knowledge and ciTility: 
and so to leate thee after my death as a mirror 
representing the person of me thy fiiAher: and if 
not so ezceUent and ^together as I do wish thee, 
yet sach is my desire.** 

** I intend, and will have it so, that thoa learn 
the languages perfectly: lirst of all, the Greek, 
as Qniutilian will have it; secondly, the Latin; 
and then the Hebrew, for the Holy Soriptare- 
sake; and then the Chaldeeand Arabic likewise: 
and that thoa frame thy style in Greek in imita- 
tion of Plato; and for the Latin, after Cicero. 
Let there be no history which thoa shalt not 
have ready in thy memory; — anto the pros^ 
onting Df which design, books of cosmography 
will 1^ Tery condaoible, and help thee mach. 
Of the liberal arts of geometry, arithmetic and 
music, I gave thee some taste when thou wert 
yet little, and not above five or six years old. 
Proceed farther in them, and learn the remain- 
der if thou canst As for astronomy, study all 
the rules thereof Let pass, nevertheless, the 
divining and judicial astrology, and the art of 
Lullins, as beiiig nv thing else but plain abases 
and vanities. As for the civil law, of that I 
would have thee to know the texts by heart, and 
then to confer them with philosophv. 

**Now, in matter of the Imowledge of the 
works of nature, I would have thee give thyself 
eoriously; that so there be no sea, river, nor 
fountain, of which thou dost not know the fishes; 
^ the fowls of the air; all the several kinds of 
shrubs and trees, whether in forest or orchards; 
all the sorts of herbs and flowers that grow 
upon the ground; a)l the various metals that 
are hid within the bowels of the earth; together 
with all the diversity of precious stones that are 
to be seen in the orient and south parts of the 
world. Let nothing of all these be hidden fh>m 
thee. And at some of the hours of the day ap- 
pjy thy mind to the study of the Holy Scrip- 
tures; first, in Greek, the New Testament, with 
the Epistles of the Apostles; and then the Old 
Testament in Hebrew. In brief, let me see thee 
an abyss and bottomless pit of knowledge: for 
from henceforward, as thou growest great and 
becomest a man, thou must part firom this 
tranquilli^ and art of study, thou must learn 
chivalry, warfiire, and the exercises of the field, 
the better thereby to defend my house and our 
friends, and to succour and protect Ihem at aU 
their needs, against the invasion and assaolts of 
evil doers. 

**But because, as the wise man Solomon 
saith. Wisdom entereth not into a malicious 
mind, and that knowledge without conscience is 
but the ruin of the soul ; it behoveth thee to 
serve, to love, to fear God, and on him to cast 
all thy thoughts and all thy hope, and, by faith 
formed in charity, to cleave unto him, so that 
thou mayest never be separated fh>m him by thy 
sins. Set not thv heart upon vanity, fbr thto 
lilb is transitory, but the Word of the Lord eo- 



I dureth for ever. And, when thou shalt see thai 
I thou hast attained to all the knowledge that is 
to be acquired in that part, return unto me, 
that I may see thee, and give thee mv blessine 
before I die. My son, the peace and grace of 
our Lord be with thee. Amen. 

*' Thy father, GABOAMTirA." 

Under Epistemon, his tutor, Pantagruel' 
makes rapid progress in his study. In 
Paris he meets ranurge, who addresses 
him in thirteen different languages, the 
author probably bearing in mind a similar 
feat of his own, when he pleaded the cause 
of the Montpellier University. He hears 
and decides a cause in which the pleadings 
are given with great prolixity of nonsense 
on either side. Then we have the mis- 
chiefs of Panurge, the victories of Panta- 
gruel, and the descent of Epistemon to the 
nether regions. This book, indeed, is the 
only really mirthful one in Rabelais. It 
was the natural seoael and development 
of the " Chroni<}ue Gargantuine." There 
is very little satire in it, and no malice ; he 
leaves the monks alone, and only makes 
fSsdr game of the pedantry of the lawyer 
and the follies of the university. 

It is not difficult to construct, from this 
book alone, a sort of master-key to the 
whole. Thus Pantagruel is he who col- 
lects the wisdom and knowledge of bis 
councillors, and applies them to Sie prao* 
tical purposes ot life. Epistemon, his 
tutor, represents scholarship and learn- 
ing, Eusthenes, the right application of 
strength. Friar John is the soldier and 
man of action, spoiled by the monkish robe. 
Panurge — mivwpyoc — what may he not 
represent? He is intellect, unaided by 
rank or wealth. He is intellect without 
moral principle. He is canning, without 
forethought, audacity, without bravery. 
He is a spendthrift, contriver, libertine, 
scholar, coward, wit. He has no pity, no 
shame, no reverence ; he has no virtues at 
alL He has no strength, only craft; no 
affection, save for what will help him. 
Pantagruel is a great kins, and Friar John 
a lusty comrade. But when John gets old 
and Pantagruel weak, Panur*^ will betake 
himself to the nearest available protector, 
and be as full of animal spirits, as jovial, 
as reckless as ever. Panurge is a man 
with every faculty, but without a soul. 

But this kind of allegorizing is danger- 
ous. It maybe carried vervfar beyond 
what was ever intended. Still I have little 
doubt that some such scheme, over and 
above the first idea of a burlesque, was in 
the mind of Rabelais. Mere fooling, to a 
man so learned, would have been simply 



Digitized by 



Googk 



86 



RABELAIS. 



impossible, and his ffenins is nowhere so 
conspicuous as in the exquisitely human 
touches of tenderness and sympathy that 
light up his pa^es. But there is tms one 
character that has neither sympathy nor 
tenderness, and I am more and more con- 
vinced that in Panurge Rabelais seriously 
designed to show the world man, in his 
highest development of intellect, but with 
no soul, — stripped of that divine element 
which gives him, alone in the world, the 
power of sympathy. It would be in vain 
to follow up the allegory always sitting 
loosely upon him, and which in his last 
two books the writer deliberately neglects 
in order to satirize the Church ; and idl 
his characters, except Panurge and Panta- 
gruel, sink into insignificance when they 
visit the islands of rapimanie and Pape- 
figue, and the abode of the great Pope- 
hawk. 

Panurge, I have said, is not the hero of 
Rabelais. It is the consistency of his char- 
acter alone, and the prominent part he 
plays, that has led critics to forget nis real 
subordination to the leading figure of the 
group; and the m^'estic conception of 
jrantagruel, wise and calm, is only brought 
into stronger relief by the turbulent bois- 
terousness of his follower. 

We may put aside, too, as wholly ab- 
surd, the old idea that the work depicts 
the living personages of the time. Noth- 
ing can be sillier than the so-caUed keys to 
Rabelais. Allusions, it is true, are con- 
stantly being made to topics of the day, to 
local gossip, and contemporary anecdote. 
In the details of the book, as well as in its 
spirit, there is a flood of light thrown upon 
the thought of a time — a time more 
abimdantly illustrated than almost any 
other. Indeed, from Brantdme, Marot, 
Des Periers, Rabelais, and Erasmus, the 
first fifty years of that remarkable century 
might be reproduced with a vividness and 
fidelity to which I think no other period, 
unless it be the last century, presents a 
parallel. 

The third book opens with Panurge's 
prodigality, after Pantagruel had ffiven 
him the lordship of Salmygondin, and his 
discourse on the pleasure and profit of be- 
ing in debt. 

'*Be pleased to represent unto your fkncy 
another world, wherein OTeryone lendeth and 
everyone owetb, and all are debtors and all 
creditors. What would be the harmony among 
the regalar movement of the heavens! I think I 
hear it as well as ever Plato did. What sympa- 
thy between the elements! ... I lose myself in 
the oontemplation. Among men, peace, honour, 
bve, fidelity, repose, banquets, feasts, Joy, de- 



light, gold, silver, small money, chains, rings, 
merchandise, will run from hand to hand. No 
lawsuits: no war: no disputes: no one then wiU 
be a usurer, a miser! avaricious, or a refuser of 
loans. Oood Ood! will it not be the age of gold 
— the kingdom of Saturn — the idea of the 
Olympic regions, in which all other virtues 
cease, and Charity alone is regent, mistress, 
queen T '* 

Then came Panurge's grave doubts on 
the subject of marriage, and the incompar- 
able chapter where he sets forth his oiffi- 
culties to Pantaeruel, receiving from him 
the alternate advice, " Marry, then," and 
" Then do not marry." 

The rest of the book is chiefly made up 
of the advice given to Panurge by differ- 
ent councillors, none of whom advances 
his cause at all. Here, too, occurs the case 
of Judge Bridoise, — without any excep- 
tion, the finest piece of comedy in the 
whole of Rabelais. The humour consists 
not so much in making the poor old judge, 
against whom an appeal has been lodged, 
confess that he decided this case, and has 
decided all others during his whole life, by 
the throw of the dice, keeping big dice for 
important cases, and small dice for trifling 
ones, as in the judge's perfect incapacity to 
see any reason for concealing the fact, or 
any other method of arriving at perfect 
justice and fair dealing, and his inability 
to make any other defence than that, by 
reason of the infirmitv of a^, he might be 
prevented from rightly discerning the 
points of the dice, and so the course of jua- 
tice be diverted. 

The Sorbonne could find nothing in the 
third book to complain of. In one chapter, 
the word dne was printed no less than three 
times instead of dme; but King Francis 
refused to sanction its prohibition on that 
account, and the book appeared Cum pri- 
vilegio. 

fiefore the appearance of the fourth 
book, we must remember that Rabelais 
stripped himself of his benefices. We 
must also remember that he died a very 
few weeks after it appeared. 

Now Rabelais haa little of the spirit of 
a martyr in him. There was probably no 
form of religion for which he would have 
gone to the stake, or even, willingly, to 
prison ; martvrdom would have been just 
as disagreeable to him whether at the 
hands of the monks or the Calvinists. 
Both parties would certainly have burned 
him, had they been able, wim joy ; Calvin 
out of the malice of a disposition ren- 
dered morbid bv bcKlily suffering and 
wounded personal vanity, and the monks 
out of pore revenge on a man who had ' 



Digitized by 



Googk 



KA3ELAIS. 



87 



done more than any other man, living or 
dead, — Erasmus, Buchanan, Walter de 
Mapes, and Jean de Meung, not excepted, 
— to bring them into contempt. 

There most have been some protector 
at Court on whom Rabelais rehed when 
he resolved on issuing this fourth book : 
else we must believe that in his old age 
he committed the only imprudent act of 
his life ; and, after dexterously avoiding his 
enemies for seventy years, voluntarily put 
his head into the hon's mouth. He died, 
but that was unforeseen ; and we may pic- 
ture the rage of the orthodox when their 
old enemy, now almost within their grasp, 
slipped quietly out of their hands. Hie 
Church never forgets; priests never for- 
give ; and it was well for the writer that 
his life was not prolonged beyond his 
threescore years and ten. 

To the protection of the Du Bellay 
family, he probably added that of Car- 
dinal Odet. He it was, I think, who sub- 
sequently became a professed Protestant, 
and took a wife. There must have been 
others, and the nature of the work must 
have been known to them; for now a 
change comes over the spirit of the book. 
It is no longer the pore spirit of drollery ; 
there is no more tenderness; the old ge- 
niality seems gone out of it ; the animal 
spirits of the old man are dying out ; the 
fire of his resentment mounts Ugher ; all 
ia fierce, vehement, bitter satire ; he laughs, 
with a gibe at the monks ; he moraines, 
with a jest on the priests. 

The last book may be taken with the 
fourth, though it did not appear till ten 
years after the death of the writer, and 
then without his final touches and correc- 
tions. It lacks these ; its bitterness is too 
keen ; is has no geniality at all, though it 
wants some, if only to set off and heighten 
the boundless measure of its contempt for 
monks and priests. 

In the fourth book, however, we are not 
wholly without fun. There we may read 
how Panurge bar«uned for the sheep; 
how the Lord de Basch6 struck a whole- 
some terror into bailifis; how Francis 
Villon was revenged on Friar Tickletoby ; 
bow the great storm fell upon them, with 
the cowfl^y conduct of Panurge ; and 
how the frozen words fell on the deck, and 
melted, and were heard. Here, indeed, 
are goodly materials for mirth. But the 
tone of the whole is somehow changed* 

lliey visit, during this Odyasean voyage, 
the island of Shrovetide, the island of 
Papefi^e, the inhabitants of which, though 
once nch, were now poor, wretched, and 
subject to the Papimanes. Then they 



go to the island of Papemanie — " navi- 
gasmes par ung jour en B^r6nit<S et tout 
plaisir, quand k nostre veue s'ofirit la 
benoiste isle des Papimanes," — and ob- 
serve the calm weather which always 
reigns round the island of the orthodox. 
When they near the shore, a boat puts 
oS, to ask them, ** Have they seen 
him ? " " Seen whom ? " asks Pantagruel. 
" Him I " they repeat " Who is he ? " 

?uoth Friar John, "Par la mort beuf! 
will smash him," thinking it had been 
some notorious criminaL "Howl'* cried 
they in the boat, " do you not know, gen- 
tlemen pilgrims, the Only One (rUni- 
que)? Nous parlons du Dieu en terre." 
"Upon my word," says Carpalim, "they 
mean the Pope." " Oh, yes I says Panta- 
ffmel, " I have seen three of them ; much 
better am I for the sijp^ht. . One at a time, 
understand." "O U)\k thrice and four 
times happy I" they cry, "welcome and 
more than welcome." "Then they knelt 
down before us, and wished to luss our 
feet." 

Then they were entertained by Ho- 
menas, who sets forth the praise of the 
decretals, and how they gather gold for 
Rome. 

Next they go to the Court of the great 
inventor Gaster, the first Master of Arts 
in the world. There, in the liveliest alle- 
gory, Rabelais shows how necessity and 
self-preservation are the parents of all 
arts and sciences, and how from the mere 
want of food springs every development of 
the ingenuity of man. 

The purpose of the writer grows wider 
still in the last, imperfect book. Thev go 
to the isle of Bells (I'isle Sonnante), where 
the single Pope-hawk lives with clergy- 
hawks, monk-hawks, priest-hawks, ablK»t- 
hawks, bishop-hawks, and cardinal-hawks. 
These birds are all of strange birth. 
They are imported from the land of Lack- 
bread, and never go back. They sing at 
the ringing of bells; they lead joyous and 
happy lives, " but nothing to what we 
shall have," says .£dituus, "in the other 
world " ; and they are all sacred, and not 
to be touched on pain of fearful punish- 
ments. Here, without the least disguise, 
the Church is described. Then to other 
islands, including ihat of Grippeminaud, 
ther Inquisitor, and so on to tne last, the 
oracle of the Bottle. 

We see, then, in Rabelais, three stages ; 
simple burlesque, allegory and satire 
grafted in burlesque, and satire almost 
unmixed. He has the same purpose 
throughout, but it ffrows. While at first 
he attacks monks omy, he afterwards aims 



Digitized by 



Googk 



88 



RABELAIS. 



at the follies of the whole Church, and 
eyefn at the court and constitution of 
Borne, finishing the whole with the oracle 
which relieves Pantagmers mind, and 
sums up the Pantagrueiian Philosophy by 
the magic word, ** Drink." 

"Now," says the priestess, "you mav 
depart, my friends, and may that intel- 
lectual sphere whose centre is everywhere 
and circumference nowhere, which we call 
God, keep you in His almighty protection. 
When you return to the worlo, do not faU 
to affirm that the greatest treasures are 
hidden underground; and not without 
reason." 

The controversies of the time, the end- 
less disputes of the schools, the differences 
of churches — what were they to men 
who could feed on Plato, and roam over 
the flowery fields of ancient philosophy V 
What was it to them whether the bigot of 
Geneva, or the bigot of Rome, conc^uered? 
what to them the issue of questions as 
idle as the bells of risle Sonnante, as mean- 
ingless as the frozen words on the deck 
of Pantacruel's ship? The spirit of 
priesthood — that had been the enemy of 
philosophy in old times, and was its enemy 
in the new times ; the fanaticism and blind 
fear of ignorance were their natural foes ; 
the long chain of custom, the fetter that 
bound men's souls to decaying forms, was 
what thev would fsdn, but could not, re- 
move. Life might be cheered by the 
intercourse of scholars ; but life with the 
common herd, with the so-called religious, 
and the so-called learned, was intolerable, 
ludicrous, stupid. As for the doctrines of 
the Church, the great God reigns : He is 
like a sphere whose centre is everywhere 
and circumference nowhere. The min- 
isters of the Church are its worst enemies; 
he who is wise will be tied by as few 
dogmas as may be, but he will possess his 
som in patience ; and after seventy years 
of study, thought, and labour, will accept 
the sacraments in the usual way, with one 
last parting insult for the priest who 
brings them. 

Tms 19, as appears to me, the Panta- 

relian Philosophy, which was professed 
no small number of scholars. It was 
no mere name, or peg, on which to hang a 
string of trifles. It wa^followed by those 
who felt, with Rabelais, that to promote 
learning was to promote progress ; that to 
revolt against evils which spring mainly 
from ignorance is futile. Hence, they 
passed their lives in improtesting acquies- 
cence, content to feel that the tmngs they 
knew would grow and spread more and 
more. There are few scholars now to 



compare with those of the sixteenth cen- 
tury. What men could learn they learned. 
Not the whole circle of science only, but 
the whole circle of languages, in which 
literature worth the reading was to be 
found, was theirs. Rabelais was botanist, 
physician, and astronomer. He knew 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Ital- 
ian ; perhaps, also, for the only limit to his 
power of acquisition was that imposed by 
the dial, he uiew all those other languages 
in which Panurge addresses PantagrueL 
But while their learning was great, their 
numbers were small. They lived their 
own lives ; few of them shared in the ambi- 
tions and hopes of other men : they were 
men of the cloister, not of the outer world. 
As for this outer world, it was but a seeth- 
ing mass of brutality, ignorance and super- 
stition. They knew, out of those Greek 
volumes which monks regarded with such 
just suspicion, how dark their own time 
was, compared with that which had been. 
They knew well enough that the cere- 
monies which men were taught to believe 
Grod-sent, were copies and relics of pagan- 
ism; they saw tne Dii minores in the 
saints, the cult of Venus in that of the 
Virgin, the Pontifez Maximus in the Pope. 

Some of them, among whom was Clem- 
ent Marot, one of the philosophers, though 
no scholar, laughed and maae sport of all 
the turmoil about religion; some, notably 
the Cardinal du Bellay, gravely held their 
tongues; some, among them Bishop de 
Saint Gelais (not Octavien, or MelHn, the 
poets), went over to the Protestants ; some, 
among whom was Etienne Dolet, talked, 
and got burnt for their pains ; one or two, 
among whom was Bonaventure Des Periers, 
broke out into open infidelity ; while others, 
More, Erasmus, and Rabelais the chief, at- 
tacked the abuses but remained in the 
Church, which was indeed their only camp 
of refuge. For them Calvin would have been 
a more intolerant master than the great 
Pope-hawk himself, and they were not the 
men to exchange one yoke, however gall- 
ing, for another that would gall them worse 
in a different place. Is it too much to say, 
with the examples before us, that the lead- 
ing intellect of the time remained with the 
ancient Church ? 

Some men there are who seem too great 
for creeds. If they remain in the Church 
wherein they were bom, it is because in no 
other would they find relief from the fet- 
ters of doctrine, and because the main 
things which underlie Articles are common 
to a& churches, in which the dogmas are 
the accidents of time and circumstance. 

Not only does Rabelais never satirize 



Digitized by 



Googk 



BABBLAIS. 



89 



Christiamty, but he speaks in all his works, 
and especially in the fonrth book, with the 

greatest reverence for the Gospel of Christ 
e saw, as I read him, the evils of the 
Chnrch, but he hoped to help their cure, 
not directly, by schism, or by kicking 
against the huge fabric he could not over- 
throw; but indirectly, by spreading the 
cause of learning, by bringing monasticism 
into contempt, by widening the boundaries 
of thought, and leading the world through 
laughter rather than censure. He partly 
failed, because men cannot be led by uiugh- 
ter, and because he profaned the sacred 
precincts of the temple by buffooneries 
which other men practise outside. 

But in how much did he succeed? His 
influence, enormous in his lifetime, went on 
increasing after his death. It culminated 
perhaps in the following generation, when 
scholiurs began to act, and the Satire Men- 
ipp^ eldest bom of his children, helped 
to change the destinies of France. And 
his work has remained, a ^ssession for 
ever, to the French nation. 

Of his erudition, as diown in the book, 
I have given no examples ; I have said, in- 
deed, less than a tenth part of what might 
be written of him. It is not impossible 
that England will yet leam to appreciate 
more largely this glorious wit ana satirist. 
There may be found some man who has 
the leisure, and to whom it would be a la- 
bour of love, to edit for modem readers 
the life and voyages of PantagrueL The 
necessary omissions could be made without 
very great difficulty, and the parts to be 
left out are not inwoven with the web of 
the whole. 

Considering him as a great moral teachr 
er, we must remember what things he 
tau£;ht, and that he was the first to teach them 
in the vernacular. In that time, when only 
a few had learning, and the old medieval 
darkness was still over the minds of men, 
consider what things he poured into men's 
ears. He showed them what a monastery 
might be, the home of culture, letters, good 
manners, and gentle life. He taught the 
value of learning by direct admonition, in 
the letter of Gargantua, of which I have 
extracted a piece, and by the example of 
Pantagruel; the value of good breeding, 



with a small tincture of letters, in Gargan- 
tua; against the solid arts he contrasts the 
follies of alchemists, astronomers, and fool- 
ish inventors; he shows that Necessity, 
against which we pray so fondly, is in re- 
aUty the parent and founder of all that 
men have achieved — ^great (raster is the 
first Master of Arts, m brave stolid Friar 
John he shows a nature open and manly in 
aU except where the monks have spoiled 
him. £k exposes, from the height of his 
own learning, the shallow pedantry of the 
schools, and the folly of the people who 
forget God in their reverence for the Pope : 
he paints, in his wondrous panorama of 
life, the foolish judge, the greedy priest, 
the cruel inquisition, the lawyer with his 
false rhetoric, and the needy adventurer 
with his shifts, turns, and wiles ; and aeainst 
aU these he sets his wise and tranquil King, 
whom no storms terrify, no clamours dis- 
quiet; the scholar; the warrior; and the 
loyal servant. I wish there had been one, 
only one good priest, so that we might ex- 
tend over Rabelais that veil of perfect 
charity which might have covered his faults. 
But priests and monks he hated. The robe 
he wore was to him like a bodily deformi- 
ity — ^it corrupted his mind, and narrowed 
his views. It would be easy to show his 
wit, his humour, his headlong fun, and that 
easy jovial spirit which probably rendered 
him all his life — save when he was crimch- 
ing his crust in pace at Fontenay-le-Comte 
— ^the happiest of his kind. But let us, in 
judging EabelaiB, remember him chiefly as 
a teacmer the like of whom Europe had 
not yet seen. 

Enough has been said. Perhaps it may 
be expected — it seems inevitable — that 
something should be said about his faults. 
I neither wish to weep over them nor to 
defend them. It is nonsense to slay that 
they spring from the time. Erasmus be- 
longs to the same time, which disposes of 
thai defence, at least. And, indeed, we 
may be very sure that of all such literary 
ofitenders, from Catullus downwards, not 
one but has written with full consciousness 
of his offence. Rabelais perhaps more 
than any other, for he sinned in greater 
light. 



Wb read in the £cAo that the Electric Tde- 
graph has been pat to a new use in Canada. At 
Mimouski, when the late earthqoake came 
upon them, they sent at once to Quebec, a dis- 
tance of 200 miles, to ask, ** How do you feel T '* 



While the operator there was at his work the 
shock arrived. He at onoe sent to Montreal, 
about 200 miles farther on, to ask if they had 
felt it They had Jast time to say <* No " 
b<^ore the earthquake oame up. 



Digitized by 



Googl^ 



40 



INDIPFERBNCE OP ANIMALS TO SPECULATIVE TRUTH. 



From The Spectator. 
THE INDIFFERENCE OF ANIMALS TO 
8PECULA11VE TRUTH. 

One of the rangers of Versailles and 
the forest of Marly, who lived in the mid- 
dle of the last century, M. Charles Georges 
Leroy, wrote some very amusinff letters on 
** The Perfectibility of Animals,*' under the 
pseudonym of " The Naturalist of Nurem- 
oerg," which have just been translated, 
and published by Messrs. Chapman and 
Hall. He held, what we fancy almost any 
man, whether metaphysician or naturalist, 
who has studied the ways of animals at all 
closely, now holds, that the ascription to 
^ instinct " in animals of what is ascribed 
to "reason " in man is entirely erroneous. 
Both animals and men have a variety of 
inherited tendencies and habits which 
guide them to what they want without the 
working of their own intelligence, and no 
doubt these are much more numerous in 
the lower animals than in ourselves. The 
reason is simply that by the extension of 
reason we have arrived at substitutes for 
these instincts so much more efficient, that 
the instincts themselves have fallen into 
comparative disuse, and so been lost. It 
is just like the loss of the sense of smell 
by domesticated wolf docs. The wolf has 
the most wonderfully delicate sense of 
smell, from which it can learn and infer a 
hundred things in which domesticated 
dogs have no capacity to follow it. A 
half-breed between a dog and a wolf usu- 
ally inherits this marvellous sense of 
BmeU, but if domesticated for a few gen- 
erations will lose it utterly, simply from 
want of use and interbreeding with other 
dogs that have not got it. To the wolf 
his verv existence depends on this keen 
sense of smell, hence it is kept in constant 
exercise ; those who have it in the higher 
degrees live and prosper much more than 
those who have it in the lower degrees, 
and have a greater number of young 
which survive, and most of these probably 
inherit this sense, and many inherit it in 
an even enhanced degree, if both parents 
had it in a high degree. In this way the 
sense of smell becomes elaborated in the 
wolf. But once let any of the young 
cease to need the sense, and depend for 
their living upon man, and both the sense 
will lose its exercise, and there being no 
general cause at work to ensure the survi- 
val and multiplication of those of the spe- 
cies which have this fine sense, and the 
destruction of those which have it not, the 
inherited faculty will be lost in a few gen- 
erations. Well, so precisely it is, with re- 
gard to the animal instincts of man ; so 



manv of them are superseded by rational 
faculties, that no general cause is at work 
to give the advantage to human beings 
possessing these inherited instincts over 
those who have them not. On the contra- 
ry, the animal man, in spite of more won- 
derful instincts, is at a disadvantage in 
any stage of society as compared wiUi the 
reasoning man, and so the less necessary 
of his- instincts fall more and more into 
desuetude, and are superseded by the in- 
tellectual powers proper. 

Why does not the same process apply 
to animals ? We all admit now th^ ani- 
mals reason, and reason very acutely on 
particular phenomena of ffreat importance 
to their own safety and life. Uowper's 
dog, Beau, who saw his master trying and 
faiBng to secure a water-lily, on the Ouse, 
and who half-an-hour afterwards, as they 
repassed the place, dashed into the river 
and bit off the water-lily, and swimming 
back to shore laid it at Ms master^s feet^ 
clearly reasoned as to the object Cowper 
had had in view by his fruitless efforts with 
the stick, inferred that Cowper would be 
pleased if he obtained it for him, and carried 
this reasoning process in his memory for at 
least half-an-honr. Here analysis, reflec- 
tion, inference, and the memory of the re- 
sult of all these processes must clearly be 
ascribed to a particular dog, and the " Nat- 
uralist of Nuremberg " shows, we think, 
that much inferior animals possess the 
same powers, and that imder great stress 
of motive they will use them to solve far 
more complex problems. He shows how 
much more knowing an often-hunted stag 
or fox is than a young one that has never 
been hunted, how a fox beset on all the 
exits to its hole by traps will wear away 
its paws in digging a new way out rather 
than go into the trap, but how if a rabbit 
gets caught in one of the traps set for it, 
the fox will infer that the trap has done its 
work, that its powers are exhausted in 
catching the rabbit, and will therefore 
walk quite calmly over the trap. He 
shows tnat an old hare or stag will, when 
it has distanced its pursuers, return a good 
way on its own steps and then give a great 
spring aside so as to get out of the path 
without leaving a scent, knowing that the 
dog will follow the scent up to the furthest 
point it has reached and then seek for new 
traces of its path ; which, as he justly says, 
involves such a reasoning process as the 
following : — ' " A dog led by a man has fre- 
quently put me to flight, and has followed 
me a long time by scent; therefore my 
scent must be known to him. What has 
already happened several times may hap- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



INDIFFEKHNCK OF ANIMALS TO SPECULATIVE TRUTH. 



41 



pen again to-day ; therefore I must guard 
to-day against what has formerly be&llen 
me. Though I am ignorant how they 
know my path and track it, yet I suppose 
that by means of a false scent I may be 
able to throw them out ; for this purpose 
I must go and return upon my steps to 
deceive them as to the way I take." He 
shows that an old hare pursued by grey- 
hounds which are swift enough to seep 
her in view and to hunt by eye, not smell, 
win take her course as much as possible 
through thickets to baffle their eyes ; but 
the same hare, if pursued by harriers, 
which hunt by smell, will keep to the open, 
because the smell lies much thicker m a 
wood, where she touches not only the 
ground, but the sides of the trees. Such 
a hare must draw her Inferences clearly as 
to the clue by which the dogs pursue her, 
and alter her measures for saiety accord- 
ingly. He shows that an old crow is even 
capable of counting higher than many sav- 
age tribes appear to count. The crows 
are killed in many preserving countries 
because they are so voracious of the eggs 
of the game-birds. ** To lull suspicion, a 
carefully covered watch-house is made at 
the foot of the tree in which there is a 
nest, and a man conceals himself in ib to 
watch the return of the parent bird ; but 
he waits in vain, if she nas ever before 
been shot at in the same manner. She 
knows that you will issue from the cover 
into which ^e saw a man enter. To de- 
ceive this suspicious bird, the plan was hit 
upon of sending two men to the watch- 
house, one of whom passed on, while the 
other remained. But the crow coimted, 
and kept her distance. The next day 
three went, but again she perceived that 
only two retired. In fine, it was found 
necessary to send five or six men to the 
watch-house to put her out in her calcula- 
tion. The crow, thinking this number of 
men had but passed by, lost no time in re- 
turning. This phenomenon, always re- 
peated when the attempt is made, is to be 
recorded among the very commonest in- 
stances of the sagacity of animals." 

Now here clearly was a crow (^uite up to 
a quinary system of arithmetic, though 
not to our decimal system. What we 
want to know is, why animals which show 
such delicate and acute reasoning powers 
as the dog, the stag, the hare, and the 
crow, under the stress of certain rather 
strong motives, do not develop their rea- 
soninff powers without this stimulus, — 
why uiey care only for what the Dean of 
St. Paul's calls "regulative truths," that 
is, practical truths necessary for their 



safety and animal salvation, and do not 
get on into the study of speculative truths, 
the investigation of truth for its own sake, 
the knowledge of causes which do not 
immediately and urgently bet^ on their 
own dangers and wants. The Naturalist 
of Nuremberg thinks it is owing to the 
lower animals having such a struggle for 
existence that they have no time for any 
truths which do not bear immediately on 
their safety, — to their entire deficiency 
in "leisure and ennui." But however 
much this may apply to animals in a wild 
state, it clearly does not apply to domes- 
tic animals. Dogs, especially favourite 
do^s, have plenty of " leisure and en- 
nm," and suffer as much from ennui, when 
their masters and mistresses don't go their 
proper walks tifid rides, as any West-End 
dandy. Clearly it is not "leisure and en- 
nui" whi(^ are wanting, — to domesti- 
cated animals, at least, — as conditions of 
the desire for speculative truth. Indeed, 
the "Naturalist of Nuremberg " has made 
a little slip there. We never heard even 
of a human discoverer or investigator of 
truth who had been qualified for his inves- 
tigations by leisure and ennui. The peo- 
ple who have leisure, never do anting, 
and the peoj^le who are ennuy^ with the 
world as it IS, never add to its resources. 
If animal intellect in the least resembles 
our own, it is not leisure and ennui which 
will fit it for the speculative stage. 

The want of speculative tendency in 
animal intellect is, moreover, certainly not 
due to an absolute want of the power of 
abstraction. As the " Naturalist of Nu- 
remberg " shows, there is plenty of ab- 
straction necessarily implied in the intel- 
lectual feats we have mentioned. The fox 
which walks over the trap after the rab- 
bit has been cauffht in it, evidently had 
the clearest idea of an invisible power in the 
trap which had been used up, but of which 
he could only have had an abstract idea. 
Cowper's dog had a clear idea of as ab- 
stract a thing as Cowper's wish, and delib- 
erately adopted means to gratify that 
wish. The counting crow had a clear enough 
idea of " number," of " man," and of " gun," 
for she waited .to return to her nest as 
long as she supposed anything in the shape 
of a man to be under the nut, counting 
till she fancied all were gone, and would 
not have been alarmed by any other ani- 
mal than man, — any animal incapable of 
firing a ffun. Animals abstract as well as 
we do, though not so much, and they have 
in the individual instances a veiy clear 
conception that similar signs precede simi- 
lar consequences. The Naturalist of Nu- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



42 



INDIFFBRENOB OF ANIMALS TO SPECULATIVE TRUTH. 



remberff Bays, indeed, that wOd rabbits 
are the best of weather prophets, and that 
if you see them eating greedily in the af- 
ternoon and too intent upon their eatins 
to be easily startled, you may be sure of 
a wet night, — that the rabbit is laying 
in stock so as to prevent the necessity of 

going out to feed at night as he usually 
oes, but as he does not like to do in the 
rain. Here, then, is a case of an animal 
who interprets the meteorological signs 
far more shrewdly than man, and acts on 
its interpretation. 

We suspect that the real missing-point 
in animal intelligence is simply the want 
of desire to know anjrthing which does not 
bear on its own mmiediate individual 
pleasures, and wants, and fears. Neces- 
sity is evidently as much the mother of 
invention among the lower animals as 
amongst ourselves. The crow could count 
up to five when a good deal depended on 
it. But why, when she was sitting com- 
fortably on her eggs, should she count 
either up to 5 or up to 2? There was 
nothing to stir up her arithmetical capaci- 
ties. The stag and hare could discern that 
if they retra(^ their steps they would 
give the dogs a difficult problem to solve ; 
but why should they, when free from dan- 
ger, reason on the causes why dogs with 
their noses on the ground could always 
tell where they had passed ? The faculty 
of learning by experience, of finding out 
the meaning of signs and causes which 
are of very urgent unportance to the indi- 
vidual, — the faculty which even men call 
discovery by a sort of "smeU," — is com- 



mon to OS with the lower animals. Hie 
sharpening of intellect by need is an old 
story. But the wish to know /or the sake of 
knowing, is peculiar to man, and peculiar 
probably to the higher races of man. If 
any trace of it comd be found in an ani- 
mal, that animal would really be on the 
road of intellectual progress. Where doea 
it beein? How could it first be intro- 
duced into the animal world? We sus- 
pect through the afiections. Cowper*8 dog 
Beau did not go through a process half as 
complex, we fancy, as the crow which 
counted its enemies ; but the disinterested 
character of his friendship for his master, 
which was not an animal instinct like the 
crow's care for its young, led him to some- 
thing very much nearer the voluntary at- 
tack of an intellectual problem. Urgent 
instincts make all animals more or less in- 
telligent. The special affections of one 
creature for one of superior order awaken 
something much nearer akin to voluntary 
deliberation. Beau did not fear punish- 
ment or hope for a reward for solving his 
problem. He must have felt himself 
raised for a moment into a more intellec- 
tual being, trying to understand and enter 
into his master. In a word, the dog was 
in a semi-religious state of mind, ^d^o 
it is in the religion of human races, that 
the real pursuit of speculative truth has 
always begun. The first theories of the 
universe were religious problems, — at- 
tempts to enter into sympathy with God, 
just as Beau tried to enter into sympathy 
with his earthly master. 



Bt news from Malta we learn that the Por- 
oupine had arriyed there from Tauis, with Dr. 
Carpenter, his son, and the Swedish naturalist 
who had been permitted to Join the party. As 
in last year's Toyage,the midn objects for which 
it was undertaken have been oarefhlly carried 
out, by soundings, dredgings, and analyses of , 
sea-water from dififerent depths, down to 1,600 
ikthoms. A large part of the Mediterranean 
baun has been explored with satisfactory results 
as regards natural history, and pains were taken 
to make oo^ and define so fur as possible the 
phenomena of the current which on the surface 
sets through the Strait of Gibraltar to the east- 
ward. We should like to ask whether any at- 
tempt was made to ascertain the existence of a 
current which has long been said to flow out of 
the Strait in the opposite dureotion. We hear that 
Dr. Carpenter is to arrive in England next week. 

Athauenm. 



SupposB, just as a wild supposition, as the 
upshot of all this horrible imbroglio, this devirs 
dance of civilisation over its own resources, that 
Alsace and the Vosges mountains went to Ckr- 
many, that the demand for money were limited to 
a repayment of the Qerman loans — £80,000,- 
000 — and that France, preferring liberty to a 
Republic, elected Leopold of Belgium her King, 
with Belgium as his dower, how would the 
world stand then T German feeling about her 
frontier would be satisfied; France would be in- 
tact; Belgium would come in at the top instead 
of the bottom, as Scotland came into Great Brit- 
ain; and we should be out of that dangerous 
guarantee. No right would be violated except 
that the of people of Alsace, who might secure 
their civil autonomy under, say, Duke Ernst It 
is a dream, of course, but history is not ended yet. 

Spectator. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FBRKTHUBST OOUBT. 



48 



CHAPTEB XJLVU. 
WAITINO AT THE EXHIBITION. 

The winter was nearly over, it was to- 
wards the end of February ; Lionel Wil- 
mot kad accepted a fresh appointment 
abroad ; and May coming in to breakfast 
one morning found two letters waiting for 
her on the table, and was soon laughing 
over Milly's first report of her own ex- 
ploits at their new station. " We'd our 
first dinner-party yesterday, grand, and I 
was a little too late dressing, which Lionel 
can't bear, and at the supreme moment I 
got confused and forgot, and made such 
blunders 1 Sent down a terrible Mrs. 
Lieut.-Colonel something-or-other wrong 
(such an ugly cross old thing 1) and then 
we all came into a muddle, and hardly 
anybody sat by the other right bodies, and 
the Lieut-Colonel alongside me was say- 
age, because they care a great d^al about 
precedence and that like here ; and Lionel 
looked vexed, and we were all so stupid 
and tiresome. But after dinner I made 
my apologies very prettily " (" I am sure 
you aid," commented ^y to herself), 
^and the old hag was so cross, and gave 
me an acid smile, and said she must send 
me the army and navy lists, and I told her 
I'd been so frightened, and mollified her, 
and then I asked Lionel to have in two of 
the band, and the young ones' feet began 
to wag and the old ones' tongues too, and 
we got on quite nicely. And I didn't dance 
at all, in order to oe 'good,' you know, 
and do the hostess, but Lionel says I shall 
soon ; and I'd bought myself a new black 
velvet ^own to look venerable and erand, 
and Lionel laughed at me after aU was 
over, and said I looked younger than ever " 
(**and prettier,"^ inserted May between 
the lines) " in it.^ ** ThaeU go on all right 
now, I hope and believe," mused she to 
herself with something between a smile 
and a sigh. The other letter was from 
Tom, saying that he intended to come up 
for a few days with his wife to London, fbr 
some public meetings and some private 
shopping. 

It would be a great pleasure to May <' to 
see his dear old face again," as she said to 
herself more cheerfully than usual, and 
she was full of interest in finding a lodg- 
ing for them, and in welcoming and mak- 
ing much of the two when they arrived. 
It rejoiced her very heart to hear the 
cheery voice which reminded her so strongly 
of old Femyhurst days. Sophia was pro- 
foundly engrossed in her own small con- 
cerns, and expected May to be perpetually 
at her beck and call during her brief visit ; 



and May, glad to find herself wanted, sub- 
mitted with a good grace to be made use 
of in everything and everywhere. It is 
one of the penalties, however, of life for a 
single woman, as it is now understood, 
that she is never supposed to have any 
definite work of her own, but may be con- 
sidered as always ready to do everything 
for other people which they don't care or 
are not able to do for themselves. 

*^ I want you to meet me this afternoon 
at the British Institution pictures, May, 
after I come back from the clerical meet- 
ing," said Tom one morning in Curzon 
Street. ^Sophia declares she must be 

gainted, and there are some portraits there 
y a man she's heard of who is not too ex- 
pensive." 

** My mother has seen a sweet head of 
Mrs. Graves, at the dear old Dean's, whose 
style she thought would suit me admira- 
bly," observed Sophia with great earnest- 
ness. 

"I wish you'd come too, Cecilia, and 
help us to decide," declared Tom. 

Cecilia shrugged her shoulders a little 
at being thus made use of. At the time 
fixed, however, she dropped May at the 
door of the Institution m Pall Mall, that 
most charming home for ancient pictures, 
— now, alas 1, gone forever, — on whose 
walls most of the finest treasures in Eng- 
lish country houses have in turn been seen ; 
so quiet, yet in the way for every one, 
beautifully lighted, large enough to show 
the pictures to advantage, yet not admit- 
ting more than could be thoroughly en- 
joyed at once. Its destruction h^ been a 
real loss to art 

" They mayn't have arrived perhaps, but 
you won't mind waiting," said her sister. 
<* I shall go on to Hardinge's and pick you 
up as I come back." 

The two real species into which the 
world is divided are those who wait and 
those who are waited for. There is no 
outward and visible sign by which they 
mav be recognized, but the distinction is 
no less real. You see a father, patiently 
or impatiently, waiting for his wife and 
one after another of h& daughters, or you 
see the whole family waiting for its chief; 
but in each case it is admitted as a perfect 
rif^ht, the waiter is restless or patient, but 
neither he nor she ever resists their fate, 
and it never occurs to the waited-for to 
question the legitimacy of their power of 
keeping four or five people in attendance. 
So much so, indeed, that if bv any rare 
accident they are themselves beforehand, 
it is with a bland and dienified sense of 
injury that they say, *^My dear, I have 



Digitized by 



Googk 



44 



FBKNTHUBST COURT. 



been waiting several minntes," as an un- 
heard-of phenomenon, with an ntter uncon- 
sciousness that they have been inflicting 
hours of the same purgatory for years. 

Cecilia had always been waited for, May 
was of the wai^rs^ and accordingly she 
took up her station <][uite resignedly on a 
hard bench, for the winter exhibition was 
a modern one and generally not the best, 
while she had not much heart to begin 
and hunt out its very scattered beauties 
alone. 

She sat on within sight of the staircase 
which opened into the middle of the sec- 
ond room, watching vaguely for the others 
to arrive, when suddenly she saw Walter's 
head appear coming slowly up the steps. 
She was not thinking about him, the sight 
was quite unexpected, and she had given 
her face no orders to behave on the occa- 
sion. In the suddenness of the attack it 
expressed just what she was feeling, which 
was a good deal, and, according to its 
wont, very vividly. Her whole face licht- 
ed up wiw welcome, and she held outlier 
hand. It was an expression which he had 
never seen there before as existing for 
him, and which he had longed for as a 
thirsty man in the desert for water. He 
oame up to her, hardly knowing what he 
was domg, and stood by her holding her 
hand in his own without speaking, ilmost 
dizzy with strong feeling. She was the 
first to recover herself, and as she turned 
away with a deep blush she said as a sort 
of excuse, " I was expecting Tom." 

*^ You don't mean that you took me for 
him ? " he answered almost reproachfully, 
bendinff over her as he spoke. 

She did not answer; she could not hon- 
estly say that she did. 

<*Have you seen the Stanfield?" he 
added a moment after ; "they say there is 
one here." 

" No, I was waiting for Tom and Louisa." 

<< So am I, he appointed me here, but 
they won't have far to look, they'll find us 
fast enough," he said with a smile ; " come." 

Nothing is so perfect for a tite-h-tete as a 
picture gallery. Your backs are legiti- 
mately turned upon the world in general. 
Your heads are bound by the hypothesis 
to be engaged in the contemplation of 
what is before you ; there are occupation 
and interest for any length of time, and 
nobody can find anything to find fault 
with. 

So they went round the rooms together. 
If the pictures were good, there was much 
to be said ; if they were bad, there was 
more ; and the old racy, uncouth talk, full 
of half-suppressed thought and feeling, 



which had always had such a charm for 
her even when the man had not, be^an 
again. She forgot herself in the different 
subjects, her whole soul glowed again as of 
old in the strong intere^ which possessed 
her. K it flagged for a moment and he 
felt that she was drawing back again into 
her shell, he had poWer enough to start 
afiresh, until at last as they touched on 
some of their old war topics, he said with 
a smile — ^ Ah, you are shaking a red rag 
before the bull, but you shan't make me 
quarrel to-day, even for the sake of Amer- 
ica ; " when Tom's voice was heard in the 
distance, and she turned quickly to meet 
him with the half-ended words still ringing 
in her ears. 

" I'm afraid we're very late. I'm so sor- 
ry," said Tom, hurrying up. '' Sophia was 
such a time at the china-shop ; I hope we 
have not kept you too long ? " 

** Oh no, not in the very least,'^ answered 
Walter, most truthfuUyin earnest. 

"Have you found number fifty-seven," 
said Sophia solemnly ; " and how do you 
like it?" 

May had entirely forgotten the luckless 
portrait, and was only too glad of the ex- 
cuse of assisting now to hunt it out in 
order to avoid any further questions con- 
cenning the employment of tneir time. 

In a few moments appeared Cecilia. Sho 
knew nothing of art, and two, at least, of 
the others understood a good deal about 
it ; but she could tell what the world said, 
which was a great deal more important, 
and with her tew apt, short remarks, very 
much to the point, she settled the whole 
business of the portrait at once. It re- 

res a great aeal of talent, tact, and 
acter to be a fine lady ; whether the 
play is worth the candle is, of course, a 
point whidi people decide differently. 

" I am gomg with Scrope, and you will 
take Sopma with you," said Tom, as he 
helped to put the three ladies into Cecilia's 
carriage, rejoicing to have disposed so sat- 
isfactorily of his wife. 

And it was not till the door was shut^ 
and the two had walked away together, 
that May remembered how in her confu- 
sion she had not wished Walter good-bye, 
or even shaken hands with him, and that 
nothing had been said about meeting 
again. 

But there were more important ques- 
tions on hand. 

" Where shall I take you to?" said Ce- 
cilia, turning to her sister-in-law* 

"Oh anywhere," replied Sophia, settling 
herself down with great glee for a coarse 
of visits and shops. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FERNTHUKST COURT. 



45 



Now Cecilia did not at all approre, as 
May well knew, of going about with her 
elegant little clarence <* stiifTed up " with 
three women. Moreover, she did not much 
relish dragging about our ^ country cous- 
in" to her cream of the cream haunts; 
while Sophia, serene in the consciousness 
of the very last new bonnet, and consider- 
ing herself the model both of fashion and 
of virtue, was ready for anything, from a 
visit to the Queen down to Madame Tus- 
saud. 

Cecilia looked a little disgusted in a po- 
lite way, and May, feeling that she could 
relieve one part of the dilemma at least, 
proposed — 

^rut me out, dear, at the bottom of the 
Queen's Walk ; I want a little fresh air, 
and I will go straight across the Park 
home." 

" What will Egerton say to your walk- 
ing alone?" repeated Cecilia, with the 
sort of borrowed conscience from her hus- 
band which she sometimes showed — but 
the thing was doue. 

May rejoiced, as she breasted the sharp 
north-easter, at the solitude and the liberty 
to think over the past half-hour. She did 
not know that anything more would come 
of her meeting with Walter, as she re- 
peated to herself but at all events they 
were friends again, and she felt as if^ after 
having been a vear on short commons of 
dainty pastrv, she had suddenly had a meal 
of bread and meat. 

By night, however, all her self-torment- 
ing had returned again; she ought not, 
perhaps, to encourage him, he could mani- 
festly do so much better for himself than 
to tWnk of her, even if he were so inclined, 
and the remembrance of the Colonel's code 
of the duties required from him by his 
'^ family and his positicyi" came back 
upon her mind forcibly. Besides, after 
aU, there was probably nothine in his 
manner to her but compassion and friend- 
liness. 

<' I was very near asking Scrope to dine 
here with us," said Tom to Cecilia, as he 
and his wife came in that evening to Cur- 
£on Street ; " but I couldn't do it without 
vour leave. I should be particularly glad, 
if you don't mind ; I hardly ever see him 
now." 

** You may ask him for to-morrow," re- 
plied his sister graciously, but without the 
smallest thought of May. 

She saw how unsuspicious they all were 
of there being any feeling for her on his 
Bide, and it gave her a qualm as to its real- 
ity, which she could not get over the whole 
of the next busy day, as she worked hard 



to fulfil Sophia's unconscionable and con- 
tradictoiT requirements. 

Accordingly in the evening, when Wal- 
ter arrived at the house, the cold chill was 
upon her, and she scarcely spoke to him ; , 
she had had time to think, and she drew 
back while he was occupied with his civili- 
ties to the others, and sat listening in ab- 
sorbed silence to a comfortable dowager's 
description of the alterations in her back 
bed-room in the country. £ven the most 
interesting details, however, concerning 
** there was such difficulty about the chim- 
ney, my dear, you see, until I contrived to 
get three feet six out of the staircase. . . ." 
failed in fixing her attention, thoush she 
resolutely avoided turning her head. At 
all evento, if anything was to come of it, it 
should be without her stirring even a fin- 
ger. She had not had a word with Walter 
when they all went down to dinner, where 
he sat by Cecilia in the place of honour, 
and a scrap or two of the talk between 
these two most incongruous associates oc- 
casionally reached her. 

** Yes, I do like the man ; and that he's 
made his own position is much more to his 
credit than if he'd merely inherited it,'' he 
said rather doggedly, in answer to some 
remark of his hostess. 

'' Ah, we know what a rank Radical you 
were, Mr. Scrope," replied Cecilia, smiline ; 
" but I hoped that you'd improved a little 
by this time." 

** The way I've been distressed by the 
noise in the mews behind my new house, 
and then the cats and the sparrows up to 
three o'clock in the mormng, I'm surel 
there's no telling. Why doesn't govern* 
ment interfere ? " meandered the dowager 
in a gentle stream of twaddle on the other 
side. 

"I'm afraid that this government is not 
likely to do anything ha& so useful as sup- 
pressing the sparrows," said the Colonel 
good-naturedly. 

"Such a strange appointment! They 
say that he has hardly sixpence to live on, 
and an empty sack has difficulty in stand- 
ing upright sometimes, the world says, you 
know," went on Cecilia. 

" I hope you don't think your spoons in 
danger now," replied Walter, laughing, 
" for I assure you that I'm quite as poor as 
he is." 

He seemed in rather a defiant mood; 
had she anything to do with his state of 
mind ? May thought as she sat on through 
the long hour depressed and silent, strug- 
gling to seem interested in her neighbour's 
talk, and never looking towards the other 
end of the table lest Walter might think 



Digitized by 



Googk 



46 



FBRNYHURST COURT. 



that she was appealing to Ms remembrance. 
She went upHstaira again, feeling saddened 
to the heart. Was it her own fault or his ? 
Had she been so cold and repellent that he 
really could not be expected to come near 
her ? or was it that he did not desire it ? 
She stood listening to Sophia's platitudes 
and enthusiasms without hearing or seeing 
anything, but answering yes and no at the 
proper mtervals, which entirely satisfied 
that lady, who enjoyed the sound of her 
own voice beyond any other music. 

<< I declare Mr. Scrope is as great a bear 
as ever. I thought he might hare become 
a little more civiBzed. 3ut it's no wonder, 
they say he hardly ever goes into society," 
said Cecilia complainingly, as the ladies 
drew round the nre in the drawine-room. 

" We used to know poor Lord Ardmore's 
grandmother very well," sighed the old 
Duly, " and it was such a pity " 

May looked up o^uickly. 

** So sad his oemg killed in that way 1 
Nobody ever saw or heard of the present 
man ; he lived quite out of the world, they 
say, down in the north, and with no end 
of children. Such a loss as his nephew, is I 
He dined with me only last year; he al- 
ways looked so cross, poor fellow, and he's 
quite run out the estate, I hear." 

Presently the gentlemen appeared, and 
Tom came and sat down affectionately by 
his sister. Immediately after Walter very 
deliberately drew up a chair exactly in 
front of her, placed himself upon it so that 
she could not stir, and began to talk to 
Tom across her. A strange shy feeling 
came over her ; she rose, but there was a 
look in his eyes, half reproach, half en- 
treaty, which she could not withstand, and 
she sank down quietly once more and lis- 
tened to the talk of the two old friends as 
if she were in a dream. 

^ It seems like- pleasant, dead old days 
at Fernyhurst," said Tom, with a sort of 
sigh as they found themselves falling back 
upon all their past discussions. ''You 
must come down there, soon, Scrope, and 
enlarge your mind on turnips. Hastings 
has gone in for hi^h fanning (or at least 
Don^dson for hiin), and you should see 
him looking wise over the last new reap- 
ing-machine, and not auite sure which is 
the stem and which is the stem, as Charlie 
would say." 

" Then hell learn. You don't mean that 
a man's to be run into a mould like a pig 
of cold iron at any time in his life, stereo- 
typed for evermore everlastingly." 

" It must be very fatiguing though to be 
always growing out boughs lul round every 
year as you do," replied Tom, laughing. 



"Like the trees at Fernyhupst," said 
May with a smile ; " how do they all do ? " 

" What, the trees ? When are you com- 
ing to see them? They want you back 
sadly, and the old women go on to no end 
about ' Miss May,' and when they are to 
see her again." 

" The people's memory is long and deep," 
said Walter musing, '' slow to grow and 
strong to retain. They havn't so many 
things to dissipate their thoughts and affec- 
tions probably." 

" Do you think living all the year round 
down among the oxen increases the bril- 
liancy of one's thoughts and affections ? " 
asked Tom with a wry face. " I'm afraid 
I don't find it so." 

^ It gives you a chance of some original 
ones, at any rate. You don't get your 

Eolitics out of your daily paper, and your 
terature from your weekly one, at all 
events." 

" No, we make up for it by having nei- 
ther literature nor politics at all," answered 
Tom, laughing. 

*' Mr. Drayton managed to keep both go- 
ing," put in May with a smile. 

*' But the new generation are more stir- 
ring and want more variety of interests 
and work." 

" They're only more restless," said Wal- 
ter, smiling, " that's all." 

" Listen to him I Hell turn out an old 
Tory after everything's said, I believe." 

" I'm not so sure that ' getting on ' is the 
summum bonum of life, nationafiy or indi- 
vidually." 

" At all events it's what has set the An- 
glo-Saxon race where it is," answered 
Tom. 

" To make the best of your position and 
of yourself in it, no doubt that's all right ; 
but I don't see how always to want to get 
out of it can be a wise ideal." 

" It's the essence of modem civilization, 
anyhow." 

"Modem civilization^ as you call it, is 
nothing but a question of outsides ; it's a 
sort of varnish not even skin deep." 

" Like the bloom on a plum, very pretty 
and pleasant though," said May with a 
smile ; but though she occasionally threw 
in a word or two, she was very silent. 

"We are going to the Crystal Palace 
to-morrow, S^pe " Tit was still in the first 
bloom of its novelty), said Tom towards 
the end of the evening. " Do come. Sat- 
urday's a half holiday for all the prentice 
lads. Pm sure you can get away if you 
choose. Do come with us," he insisted 
affectionately, "I've so few days here, you 
know." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FERNYHUKST COURT. 



47 



"ni try," answered Walter; and he 
added in a low voice after a short pause, 
^ Your sister seems as if she wanted fresh 
air sadly, she looks quite ill. I'm afraid 
London does not suit her." But he did 
not turn towards the pale sad face which 
was so unlike the picture of her in his 
mind of old Femyhurst days. "I will 
follow you, if I can get away, and meet 
you at three near the music." 

CHAPTER XXVni. 
A TETE-A-TETE IN A CROWD. 

Sophia was somewhat jealous of Tom's 
affection for his sister, and it was rather 
an uncomfortable trio for their expedition 
next day. She generally interfered when 
her husband launched off into the innu- 
merable old jokes and allusions which a 
man must have with the sister of so many 
years, and not with the wife of little more 
than one. She always refused to under- 
stand the explanations which she every 
time elaborately insisted on having given 
to her; she grew very cross and made 
herself generally and particularly disa- 
greeable the whole time. At last May 
was thankful to draw back when they 
reached the band, and sit silent and soli- 
tary behind the other two. She felt very 
lonely, even Tom's wished-for visit was 
lost to her for any pleasure that it seemed 
likely to give. 

She woke up out of a rather dreary 
reverie at the end of a noisy finale, and saw 
Walter standing, with his eyes fixed upon 
her, at a little distance. 

"Oh, there you are, dear old fellow," 
cried Tom, rising^ eagerly* ** How glad I 
am 1 I was just begiuning to give you up," 
and he put his arm in his in old schoolboy 
fashion. " Did you ever see such a figure 
as he makes of mmself I Only look at his 
coat ! " said he, turning to his sister ; " he's 
become a co-operative tailor, or grocer, or 
something. It's a philanthropic coat. Fm 
sure it ought to be very virtuous to make 
up for being so intolerably hideous." 

** I'm afraid," observed Sophia, with her 
very wisest look and manner, "that there 
is considerable danger now of encoura^g 
socialism among the working-classes. The 
Dean says that to interfere in this way 
with " when Walter, without attend- 
ing to her, stooped his long body past her, 
where it had no business whatever to be, 
in order to be quite sure of the cordial 
smile towards his obnoxious coat on May's 
face under her averted bonnet. 

" And now let us go wherever you like, 
Scrope," said Tom. " Didn't you say you 



wished to look at the Michel- Angelo Court 
again?" 

"I wanted to have seen the acrobats," 
complained Sophia; "Miss Graves said 
that she saw them in the Crystal Palace 
when she was here once.". 

"But it's impossible, Sophia; they're 
not here to-day," remonstrated her hus- 
band. 

" She told me it was something quite 
too remarkable," persisted she plaintively, 
" and I never saw acrobats." 

"I've the greatest respect for Tom's 
abilities for instruction ; but even he can't 
improvise acrobats, I'm afraid, 

' For what's impossible can't be, 
And very seldom comes to pass,' " 

said Walter solemnly, with an unsuccessful 
attempt at consolation. 

They moved on ; Sophia, of course, took 
her husband's arm, and May and Walter 
followed silentlv after. But the Michel 
Angelos were a long way ofi^ and the path 
to them was a thorny one, and beset with 
pit-falls and snares, for Sophia could not 
be got past the stalls of shops by any 
persuasion which her husband liked to ad- 
minister. 

"Oh, Tom, you must ask the price of 
that work-box." And presently, as with 
much trouble they got on a little farther, 
" Oh t look at that sweet little butter-dish 
like a melon I I must know how much it 
costs," she went on, laying hold of her 
husband's arm as if with a vice. And she 
was so exceedingly determined, that in 
spite of his distaste, Tom was forced to do 
her bidding. 

May leant wearily aeainst the counter 
of the glass-shop, and Walter stood in si- 
lence beside her. 

"You'd better take my arm," he said 
at last in a business-like tone, shortly 
and gravely; "vou'll be tired." But as 
soon as it was fairly within his grasp, he 
turned to Tom — "If we were anyhow to 
lose each other, it is better to appoint a 
meeting-place. Suppose we say the choco- 
late stall at the end of the building in an 
hour. Mrs. Dimsdale will like to rest her- 
self there, as she says she can't walk much 
more," he said, with a forced smile at 
Sophia. 

Some sight-seers pressed before them 
as he spoke ;. he had to retreat before a fat 
lady who squeezed in by the comer of the 
stall, with a " By your leave, sir," and in 
another moment May found herself drawn 
along at a rapid pace right up the nave, 
under the influence of a strong will, which 
she had neither the power nor the wish to 



Digitized by 



Googk 



48 



PERNTHURST COURT. 



resist. They neither of them spoke as 
they hurried along. At last he brought 
her out where the wave of sight-seers had 
ebbed and left the open balconies looking 
out towards the.Karden» solitary in the 
waning February day. He set her in the 
corner deliberately, whence there was no 
retreat, and placea himself resolutely be- 
side her — it was now or never. She leant 
over the balustrade. ** How beautiful the 
distances are, even in such a grey day 
as this I" she said, trembling as she 
- spoke. 

"May," he began, without taking any 
notice of her wonls, " why did you make 
me welcome so that my heart burned 
within me on one day, and the next re- 
ceive me as if you never wished to see me 
again, and now keep me at arm's length in 
tfis manner ? If you knew what pain you 
put me to, dear, I am sure you would not 
mflict it. My darling," he went on, "no 
one feels more than I do how little worthy 
I am of vou, but it seems to me almost as 
if my love . were something different 
from me, it is so deep, and true, and 
tender, and has lasted so many years, that 
if I could but show it to jrou. May (which 
J can't, just because it is so deep), 
that you would try and see whether 
you couldn't take it. Try May; let me 
see you again as we used to do. We used 
to be friendly together at least ; be friend- 
ly with me i^udn. I don't care how long 
I wait," he sAi, with an unconscious sigh, 
that told how much he did care. "Noth- 
ing wil^ ever make me stop loving you, 
umess you married some one else; not 
even death," said he earnestly. " Try it, 
May." He had taken hold of the hand 
lying on the balustrade beside him, and 
his pressure was almost painful, " Come to 
cheer me, and help me, and care for 
me through life, until death do not us 
parti" 

" You don't know me ! " cried she pas- 
sionately ; " I'm grdwn so stupid, and sad, 
and dull, that I can't cheer or help anyone. 
You ought to have much better help than 
me. There never was a great deid m me, 
and now I believe that I've lost the little I 
ever had. Alicia says that I'm grown so 
silly that I hardly understand when I'm 
spoken to, and it's very nearly true," she 
ended witii a tearM smile. 

" Have you any other su(^ admirable 
and convincing reasons?" said he, laugh- 
ing in the midst of his earnest pleading. 
"My darling, is it your spirits or your joy 
that I want, do you thmk ? I want yotiy 
the you that is behind and above them 
all." 



good 



" Ah, but the me is changed, I believe. 
You ought to know me first," and she 
tried earnestly to draw away her hand. 
"The old days threw a false light upon 
me. You ought to wait and &ow me 
j now." 

" Know you I you child,*^ he said, getting 
I hold of her other hand ; " why, what have 
I done these seven long years but know 
you, only too much by heart, from every 
tone in your voice, to the tying of your 
shoestring ? " 

" But I'm so little worth — not 
enough to be anybody's comfort." 

" Won't you let me be the judge of 
that ? May, don't you see you haven't said 
the only word which will ever make me 
leave your side now ? " and he put his arm 
round her. " Look up in my face and say, 
if you have the heart, that you don't care 
for me who love you so well, and then I 
will go." 

Instead of which she hid her face on his 
shoulder and whispered — 

"Ido— Idol" 

For a moment she was so confused in 
his passionate grasp that she let him kiss 
her again and again. But at last she tried 
to draw herseS laughinp^ away. "We 
shall have the people paying sixpence for 
a sight of us if we don t mind." 

" And a very improving and interesting 
sight, too," answered he, with much grav- 
ity; "I shall be most happy to give it 
them again whenever they wish i^ even 
without the sixpence." 

" And then," she said, almost to herself, 
with a blush, " I can't bear now when you 
have much to give and I have nothing. . . . 
It seems . . . ." 

He looked at her puzzled for a moment, 
and then said gravely, "I'm ashamed of 
vou. May. Do you think if good things 
had happened to you that I should have 
suspected them of dividing me frt>m 
you?" 

And she was ashamed, and hid her 
face again, and the same process was 
about to be repeated when she remon- 
strated in earnest. 

"You've never called me Walter yet. 
Say, * Walter, please not to do it, because I 
love you veiy much I ' " 

" Please, Walter, not to do it." 

"But the reason? Why? You can't 
expect me to stop without a reason." 

" * What, upon compulsion 1 No, not if 
reasons were as plentiful as blackber- 
ries.'" 

I And it was only on the testimony of 
Falstaff that he began to realize the truth 
' of his victory. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FERNTHURST COURT. 



49 



They lingered on in the failing light till 
the great clock be^an to strike. "Ohl 
Walter, listen < — it is so late/' she cried, 
trying to hurry him off to the meeting- 
place. 

*' Stop a little while still, dear," he said, 
as they slowly left their quiet retreat. 
^Look at me; speak to me again and 
make me sure that it's all real. It seems 
as if it were a dream — as if it could 
hardly be true. I have longed and 
thought of this so long and so uselessly, 
that it seems to me unreal even yet, as if 
I hardly could be told often enough that 
it is really and truly May that belongs to 
me — my very own May." 

She clasped her hands upon his arm. 
** Dear, you won't want much telling from 
this time, you'll see it only too plain in my 
heart and in my face ; " and she looked up 
shyly at him, with eyes full of happy tears, 
and a smile on her lips; and then they 
passed slowly and lingerinely back again 
together into the outer world. 

They came presently in sight of Tom, 
who was looking out eagerly for them, 
and watching anxiously for the expression 
on their faces. 

*♦ I think he, at least, will be pleased," 
said Walter. 

She smiled. ** Hell be more glad than 
any one ; he's been your fast friend, Wal- 
ter, all through, and never forgave me 
three years ago. But I wish we could 
help telling any one else just now, and get 
quietly back to London to-night." 

Sophia was so deep in her chocolate, 
and so full of the things she had seen, and 
the fatigue she felt, and her explanations, 
and her grief at having lost Mr. Scrope, 
that she had no leisure to notice any one 
else's feelings, or to inquire even what the 
others had been about. 

"It's all right," said Walter laconically, 
but with a smile whicb told a great desu, 
in answer to Tom's inquiring looks; and 
in anoUier moment May felt her brother 
stooping affectionately over the back of 
her chair. 

<< i don't think I ever was so glad of any- 
thing in ail my life," whispered he under 
cover of his wife's reproaches to Walter 
for not getting somethmg for May to eat. 

** I'm shocked to see you so inattentive 
to ladies, Mr. Scrope," said she, with what 
was meant for playful humour. "Pm 
afraid from what I've heard that it's rather 
your way." 

"Tou'd better make haste and finish, 
Sophia; it's quite time for us to be off," 
put in her husband a little impatiently. 

Then as they made their way along 

UVIKO AGS. VOL. XX. 890 



towards the station Sophia went on, "I 
never saw anybody grown so stupid as 
your friend, Tom; he hardly speaks or 
looks at one. What's the matter with him, 
I wonder ? But I never, did like him at 
all. I'm quite sorry that May should have 
had such a tiresome man all the after- 
noon." 

" I don't think May will much mind it. 
You know she's known him a lon^ time, 
in old days at Femyhurst," replied Tom 
with great gravity. 

" That's no reason why he should make 
himself so disagreeable," persisted she, 
looking back at the two others who were 
following them down the long flights of 
dingy steps, and into the lighted carriages 
of the train, with that strange feeling, as 
if a partition had been suddenly let down 
between themselves and the rest of the 
world, and as if they were alone together 
in the midst of a crowd. 

" Come back with us, do, Scrope," said 
Tom, when they reached London, as he 
put his ladies into a eab, and his arm into 
his friend's, the feeling of their old friend- 
ship strong within him as they took their 
way together through the crowded streets. 
Life had drifted them far apart, and to 
Tom, at least, the ioy of thus being once 
more linked to the hero of his boyish days 
was very great f and though, "silent as 
we grow when feeling most," after the 
fashion of the British, Walter's sympathies 
were not expressed in many words, yet he 
somehow managed to make them pretty 
well understood before they reached the 
lodging. 

" It's a very fine nisht ; if you, choose to 
walk home, May, I wiU take you to Curzon 
Street," said Tom to his sister a few min- 
utes after they came in, when Walter 
silently rose to go away. 

" Oh you're goins, Mr. Scrope, good- 
night,'^ yawned Sophia from her sofa, a 
little ungraciously. "Youll mind. May, 
and come back to-morrow as soon as you 
can ; I shall want you early very much." 

"Unless she's otherwise engaged, you 
mean," said Tom, with as much serious- 
ness as he could muster. 

" Oh but she's never engaged, I know ; 
and I most have her to go with me to the 
artist's about the picture," called out 
Sophia as the three went down-stairs to- 
gether. 

" You ought to be very much obliged to 
me, Mav, for my generosity and good-feel- 
ing, ana all the ciodinal virtues, for I know 
that I shan't get a word of good out of 
him now you're come with us, or with you 
either, for that matter/' said her brother, 



Digitized by 



Googk 



60 



PERNTHURST COURT. 



with a smile, as she took his arm when 
they reached the street, and Walter came 
round to her other side. 

London was a very beautiful town to 
them that sharp February night, genial 
and bright, full of a warm fight shining on 
ugly w^ls and dirty pavements, and trans- 
figuring its commonplace streets and leaf- 
less squares as they went along, with the 
joy of their own hearts. 

"I'm sure I'm glad I'm not in love," said 
Tom, with a ruenil countenance however, 
when he found himself taken round nearly 
three sides of Berkeley Square. " It's very 
expensive in shoe-leather." 

"We're going quite the best way. 
You've forgotten your London, Tom," re- 
plied his friend with the utmost gravity. 

" I hope youll think it so a year hence, 
my dear fellow." 

" I'm not afraid," muttered Walter, tak- 
ing his place, when Tom dropped good- 
naturedly a little "astern" at the next 
crossing ; with, " There's not room enough 
for three — not even for the parson." 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
SPRING TIMB nC KENSINGTON GARDENS. 

The next morning, at an unconscionably 
early hour before breakfast, Walter was 
knocking at Colonel Seymour's door long 
before anybody was ready for his com- 
pany, and he was obliged to put up with 
May, and in the undusted drawing-room, 
to the horror of the ejected housemaids. 
" Though it is not you a bit whom I came 
to see," he explained, lauehing ; " I'm here 
only for busmess, lawfiu guardians, and 
the rest of it." 

" You see, after all, you've more than I 
have in the world, at all events for the 
present,^ said he a few minutes after, when 
they came to the discussion together of 
ways and means. " It's very shocking to 
think how I'm only marrying you for your 
money. May," he went on, with one of his 
old solemn contortions of f&ce. 

May's happy laugh was pleasant to hear. 
"What, you haven't forgiven me yet? 
Revenge is low-minded and mean, remem- 
ber." 

"I shall have three weeks' holiday at 
Easter, or I can make them," said he at 
last to May, who " did not see any huny." 
"You don't mean that you were thinking 
of putting me off till the summer? Yes, 
I am in a great hurry — a hurry to be 
happy. Do you think when a man has 
been waiting seven vears serving for 
Rachel (and he didn't find it a short time 
at all, I can tell you), it is not time to be 



in a hurry ? Suppose we say next week ? 
Gowns 1 You don't mean to say that 
you're goins to keep me waiting for 
gowns? Why shouldn't you be married 
in that one youVe got on Y I'm sure it's 
a very pretty one." 

But in spite of this desperate state they 
contrived to have a sreat deal of pleasure 
during the weeks or waiting for lawyers' 
work, and the delays which even the most 
impatient cannot overcome. 

As the buds burst in Kensington Gar- 
dens, they strolled about among the great 
trees almost as quietly as in Femyhurst 
woods of old, and ei\joyed it as much as if 
they had been there. 

They were sitting together under a 
magnificent old beech one bright sprint 
day, looking out on the exquisite ^en of 
the youuff leaves, which seem sull more 
fresh and delicate contrasted with their 
black stems, and the dingy houses of the 
town, seen in glimpses between the trees. 
The green elaides lay in every direction 
dappled with flickering shadows, flecked 
with spots of light ; little specks of bril- 
liant colour, scarlet and blue, varied with 
white, twinkled in and out on the distant 
sunny slopes; the sun shone, the birds 
sang, the babies played and shouted, tum- 
bling like puppies one over the other on 
the springmg grass; solemn old London 
seemed to have grown young, washed its 
face, and brightened into a smile under 
the April's cheery influence, while more 
than one edition of the old idyl in very 
different ranks of life was to be seen 
goins on up and down the gardens. 

"I can't think how I could be so im- 
pertinent as to ask you when I did it 
that first time. May," said he abruptly, 



with a smile after a 



looking up 

pause, as ne sat at her feet upon one of 
the great roots of the tree; "without 
anything to offer of any kind, not even 
a penny to live on I * pour I'amour of my 
beautiful self' alone." 

"Oh no," said May, lauehing; "you 
know you wanted me to help you in 
your work — it was a great compliment." 

" Yes, that little item, the regeneration 
of the human race, with which one starts 
in life. Well, it is to be hoped I've learned 
something since then — a little modesty, 
at all events, and mistrust of oneself. De 
Tocqueville's only aspiration, perhaps, * une 
modeste et savante ignorance.' But two 
are better than one to do God's work in 
the world, dear — stronger than man and 
woman alone — all to nothing. I was 
right there, at all events, in the mist of my 
self-conceit," he went on, as he drew her 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FERNTHURST COURT. 



51 



arm within his for their long, pleasant 
walk home across the hiffh, open, breezy 
ground of the upper part of the park, which 
is generally (juiet, and but very little fre- 
quented by idlers. Presently he pointed 
to the faint outline of the Crystal Palace 
on the distant hills. 

*' I shall always have a great respect for 
that most useful and instructive institu- 
tion. How much we ei^joyed the Michel- 
Angelo3 that day, you remember 1 and art 
and science in general." 

*' Yes ; but you'll take me to see them 
another time. I mustn't be cheated of my 
•ploy 'there." 

" Ah, you want to see the acrobats, I un- 
dlerstand," laughed he. 

"No, you mustn't scold. Why mayn't I 
want to go to them as well as my betters ? " 

CHAPTEB XXX. 
THE END or THE WHOLE MATTER. 

Sophia was always convinced that it was 
owing to her own good management that 
May and Walter hwi come together. ** It 
struck me, you know," she said confiden- 
tially to her neighbour at the wedding 
breakfast, " how desirable it would be, con- 
sidering their long acquaintance — and 
then we arranged, you know .... Crys- 
tal Palace, one dav at last, you know . . . 
and old Lord Ardmore is such a fine-look- 
inj( fellow — sd much handsomer than 
VK^ter, so you see . '. . ." she ended look- 
ing across at the bridegroom as she gave 
^s final and most convincing reason for 
the marriage. 

Alicia made eood any little shortcomings 
of her past behaviour most punctiliously ; 
she was ezceedinglv anxious that May and 
her husband should come to Femyhurst 
immediately, and pay any amount of visits 
they pleased. She would even have offered 
the auchess-dowager to meet them, and 
May mi^ht have had all the vases in the 
house, if she had wished it. " For when 
thou doest well for thyself^ all men shall 
praise thee," says the cynicaf old king of 
IsraeL 

May took greatly to her new family : the 
cordial, rou^h, north-county sisters — the 
** five-and-thirty feet of daughters " which 
their father was rather proud of; the gen- 
tle, overworked mother, who was very 
thankful for her new child's help in their 
changed circumstances (" You know youll 
take the girls out now, my dear, in Lon- 
don, and tnat'll be such a relief for me ") ; 
the old chief of the house, who received 
her so warmly. 

It is seldom indeed that a marriage gives 



such universal satisfaction, though from 
such different reasons. Colonel Seymour 
approved because it satisfied his conscien- 
tious scruples to see his sister-in-law per- 
form her duty " according to that station 
of life," &c., ^., as the catechism instructs 
us ; Cecilia was glad because she liked the 
^ckU of a wedding and its accompaniments, 
and it was a pleasant denouement for what 
she was pleased to call " her anxieties " for 
May; Tom, because he dearly loved his 
friend, and thought their union one of the 
greatest events in his life ; Sophia, because 
she liked beinz related to a future peer ; 
and Hastings, oecause it rather amused 
him to see nis wife's annoyance, one of 
whose first observations on the subject he 
had happened to overhear (though said al- 
most unconsciously to herself), ^'It's an 
older peerage than ours. Now 1 shall have 
to go out after May." 

** The house is so small and so far off," 
said Cecilia to her husband one hot August 
day that autumn when she had been visit- 
ing her sister,** and there was Walter 
looking as ungainly as usual. I had been 
scolding at mm for letting her tire her- 
self at that stupid women's class, and she 
said she liked it, and that it wasn't his 
doing, and she looked so happy when he 
came bursting in. I'm sure I can't under- 
stand it; and they're going to have I don't 
know how many of those great, big, awk- 
ward girls to stay with them, for her to 
chaperonel as old, I daresay older than 
herself I However, she did say they were 
going to Ladv Palmerston's to-night, and 
that Walter liked seeing people much bet- 
ter now uhan he did. I'm sure I'm surprised 
to hear that he thinks anything so sensible, 
but there's never knowing what he'll do, 
or what hell like, with ul those strange 
fancies of his about everything." 

"Hell get into Parliament I hope, di- 
rectlv," answered the Colonel consolingly, 
" and that'll bring him into harness sooner 
than anything, youll see." 

** He'U never be like other people at all," 
sighed Cecilia, shaking her head despond- 
ingly. 

In spite, however, of these painful draw* 
backs to her happiness, there is something 
to be said for May's conviction, that it is 
better to endure any amount of loneliness 
in single life than to encounter a marriage 
where the truest love, in spite of all imper- 
fections, was not to be found. There is no 
halfway-house in married life, and no 
aching solitude like that of an ill-matched 

Eair, so close and yet so far away, eternally 
ound together and yet for ever divided. 
It is a proof of the long-suffering of the hu- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



52 



FERNTHURST COURT. 



man race that great numbers of wedded 
pairs do not '< cut each other's throats and 
their own afterwards " eyerv year, accord- 
ing to the Irish receipt, as the happiest so- 
lution of the dead-lock in which they have 
engaged themselves for life, after an ac- 
quaintance founded on duly dancing a 
certain number of galops and waltzes to- 
gether, too much out of breath to speak, a 



garden party or two, a few dinners and a 
sc^ueeze — admirable arrangements of so- 
ciety for enabling young people who desire 
to pass the whole of their lives together, to 
become intimately ac<^uainted with each 
other's tempers, oispositionB, and charac- 
ters — for a relation which is to last, one 
would trust in some sense, not only here, 
but for ever. 



SiHOiNO or Swans. — In times ancient and 
modem ** siogiDg of swans " has been reckoned 
by nataralisttt among <* vulgar errors'* and 
ffroundless superstitions. It may therefore be 
mteresting to your readers to bear that swans 
aotoally do sing, which I can testify by my own 
personal experience. 

From my ninth to my eighteenth year I lived 
at a place in the west of Iceland, oUled Qofa- 
dalar. It is situated at the end of a small firth, 
called QufuQurdur, which is so shallow that by 
low water it is almost dry; the bottom of the 
firth is covered with sea-grass (marhdlmar): 
In this firth hundreds of swans gather together 
all ,the year round, except during the winter 
months, when the firth is covered with ice; and 
in the month of August, which is their moult- 
ing season, when all of them leave this firth and 
go to another not far oflT, called QilsQurdur. 
There is no apparent reason for this migpration, 
as GufuQordur seems in every way as safe and 
convenient for them during this season as Qilsf- 
jordur. Tradition therefore accounts fbr this 
migration in the following manner: — Once 
upon a time two widows liv^ one on each side 
of Qufufjurdur. At that time the swans did not 
go away during the moulting season, and the 
widows used to gather great quantities of swans' 
feathers, which are sold in Iceland at the pres- 
ent day at a halfpenny a piece. Thus the swans' 
feathers formed a considerable item in the in- 
come of the two widowa Once, however, one 
of the widows gathered feathers on a piece of 
land belonging to the other. A quarrel arose, 
and one of the widows uttered a spell to the ef- 
feet that henceforth all the swans should leave 
QufuQordur during the moulting season. I will 
not vouch for the correctness of this tradition, 
but the fact remains that this migration takes 
place annually during the above mentioned sea- 
son. 

During nine years I have heard the singing of 
the hundreds of swans which gather together in 
Qufufjurdur. In the morning and evening their 
singing is so loud that it can 1^ heard miles away, 
and the mountains on both sides ring with the 
echo of it, for at that time every individual swan 
seems to join in the chorus. This is, indeed, a 
wonderful concert The singing of the swan 
has not the least resemblance to the cackling of 
geese or the quacking of ducks. In llMt, its 



voice is unlike the voioe of any other bird that I 
have heard; it seems so clear and fall, and has, 
as it were, a metallic ring in it When it is 
calm and clear in the morning or the evening, 
the swans fly along the valley towards the 
mountains in parties of seven or nine, sometimes 
only three; as far as I can remember they are 
always in odd numbers. During their flight, 
they either keep in a straight line, one after 
another, or they form a triangle, leaving an 
open space in the middle; the foremost swan 
sometimes emitting single sounds at short in* 
tervals. The tradition of the singing of the 
swan being sweetest just before its death is well 
known in IceUind; but I am unable either to 
deny or to confirm this tradition, because I have 
never been present at the death of a swan. 

The swans of Qufuijordur do not lay eggs 
there, and I am inclined to think that the most 
of them do not lay eggs at alU for their number 
in this firth does not seem to be less fh>m the 
middle of May to the end of July, which is the 
season during which swans in Iceland lay eggs 
and bring up their young ones. On the moun- 
tains round Gufunordur there are many small 
lakes or tarns, and on the banks of those lakes 
I have seen swans build nests and lay eggs; as 
a rule there is only one pair on each lake, and, 
strange to say, these swans sing but very sel- 
dom. 

JoN A. Hjai^talhi (Icelander). 
162 St. Panl'i Road, Camden Square, N. W. 



Wb learn from the local papers that the royal 
author, the King of Burmt^, has had an edition 
of 800 copies of a Burmese Grammar of Pali, 
printed at his own press, in the palaoe. To the 
horror of learned men of the old school, he has 
determined to discard the making of palm-leaf 
books. For the future, no leaf will be taken out 
of such books, and a leaf will cease to have a lit- 
eral meaning in such case. Thus will be sup- 
pressed the painful process of cutting writing 
with an iron stile, which is hurtful to the eyes. 
Besides this, as the King has remarked, paper 
books can bear handling, and palm-leaf books 
will stand no roogfa usage. Athenanm. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



NATIONAL ATTRACTIVENESS. 



53 



From The Speetator. 
NATIONAL ATTBACnVENESS. 

The extreme averaion with which the 
mivjority of the Alsatians regard the pros- 
pect of a transfer to Germany seems to be 
admitted on all hands, even by the Pro- 
fessors who are recommending the ravish- 
ment as, on the whole, the most religions 
and high-principled method of making 
love, and the fact snegests some curious 
reflections. What is the secret of national 
attractiveness, of the charm which some 
races or nations appear to have for 
others? We do not mean the secret of 
the power of ruling, the secret learned 
BO perfectlv bv Romans, An^lo-Saxons, 
Turks, and all manner of disagreeable 
populations, but the secret by wmch one 
r ce sometimes draws another to itself as 
perfectly as a lover draws his bride. It 
certainly is not race. That is the explana- 
tion of modem philosophers, and even of 
many statesmen who regard the attractive 
force exercised by community of origin 
with an almost superstitious dread. Look, 
they say, at the perfection of unity which 
exists between England and Scotland, at 
the rapidity with which Germans have 
drawn together, at the disposition to 
cohere manifested by Slavs in the danger- 
ous movement known as Panslavism. 
Their fears, however, judged by the facts, 
would seem to be exaggerated. No hatred 
is deeper or more permanent than that 
which the two best known branches of the 
Slav race entertain for one another, the 
English and Scotch maintained a bitter 
feud for centuries, while the different 
branches of the Teuton stock show not the 
slightest disposition to coalesce. English- 
men and Americans, though not so hostile 
as their literary class makes out, still 
are far from fond of one another ; and the 
German readiness to become either Eng- 
lish or American, is by no means inm- 
cative of thorough liking either for Ameri- 
cans or Englislunen, and is by no means 
strongly reciprocated. Englishmen never 
display either for America or Germany the 
affection which they constantly display for 
Italy, an affection which rises among 
Ando-Italians to a fanaticism, and has, 
so mr as we know, no parallel in any other 
people, certainly in no people of the Latin 
race. Neither Frenchman nor Spaniard 
ever genuinely loves or honestly resnects 
Italy, while the Italian looks on both Span- 
iard and Frenchman with a distaste wnich 
in the latter case is only deepened by his 
fear. On the other hand, the Frenchman 
attracts two races separated by origin en- 
tirely firom himseu with an attraction 



over which injustice, treachery or ridicule 
seems to have no power. The Alsatians 
are Germans by origin, do not speak 
French, and have been for generations the 
butt of Parisian wit as a Boeotian people, 
a thick-headed set, scarcely deserving to 
be classed as Frenchmen. Their pecuhari- 
ties are travestied by French comedians as 
freely as the English, and they are dis- 
tinctly oppressed m the matter of cultiva- 
tion, the oppression being aggravated by 
a slight stintr of contempt. Small boys in 
Strasbnrg who speak German are made to 
walk about with a board tied to them till 
they can transfer it to some one who is in 
a similar way ^contemning civilization'* 
by speaking his own tongue. The Poles 
are olavons by origin, know no French, 
and have been, on the whole, bitterly ill- 
treated by France,' which has time after 
time summoned them to battle and then 
betrayed them; yet they, like the Alsa- 
tians,* are almost to a man the friends of 
France, fight by her side, cannot be con- 
ciliated or subjugated by any other people. 
It is scarcely too much to say that, as far 
as the consent of the people is concerned, 
France might hold Poumd as a Viceroyalty 
more easily than England held the colonies 
across the Atlantic filled with her own 
children. Why? 

If the secret of attractiveness is not raoe, 
neither is it altogether history. By history 
no people could be more thoroughly inter- 
twined than the South and the North, yet 
hostility between Yankees and Virginians 
is deeper than the hostility between any 
races in Europe, while eight centuries of 
incessant war did not suffice to prevent 
ultimate unity between Englishmen and 
Scotchmen, and six centuries of conmion 
achievement have not cemented the friend- 
ship of Irishme)! and their conauerors. 
Italy had for centuries no common tustory, 
yet its people became one ; while the 
States of^ Spanish America, whose history 
is identical, fight each other with a savage- 
ness to which Europe affords no paralleL 
On the other hana, the single people in 
the world which has to avenge on the 
Anglo-Saxon a history of wilful and delib- 
erate wrong, wrong without limit or power 
of excuse except the badness of human 
nature, is also the single inferior race 
which, having come in contact with it, 
approves it. The fact would be incredi- 
ble, were it not supported by such a mass 
of evidence ; but it is, nevertheless, true 
that the American negro feels no bitter- 
ness towards his oppressors ; but, on the 
contrary, admires tnem, resents expatria- 
tion as an ii\iury, imitates his enemies 



Digitized by 



Googk 



54 



GREAT GIRLS. 



in all things that he can, would if allowed, 
become the most loyal and long-suffering 
of his subjects. While the Bed Indian 
fights to the death, and the Hindoo looks 
on his conqueror with half-amused irrita- 
tion, the negro is ready to stand and die 
by the white man's side. The relation is 
the more extraordinary, because under the 
same circimistances the negro did not 
maintain it either with Frenc^en or with 
Spaniards. The moment he had the chance, 
he killed his masters in St. Domingo, while 
the great war of American emancipation 
was unmarked by a single massacre, or 
indeed by a single rising of any but the 
smallest importance. 

We know of no more perplexing cir- 
cumstance in the whole history of race 
than the relation of the Ne^ro to the 
American, and are half inclined to suspect 
that in it must be sought the general ex- 

Elanation of the attractiveness of races. 
I it not this, — that men, whatever their 
origin, or their language, or their circum- 
stances, are attracted towards any nation 
whose character or attitude in the world 
or ideal of life satisfies their imagina- 
tion? The Hindoo does not like or ad- 
mire the British ideal, does not wish, if he 
may choose for himself to become an Eng- 
lishman, and while yielding at every turn 
to his power, and on many subjects to his 
influence, never acknowledges, consciously 
or unconsciously, his attractiveness, never 
quite gets rid of the sense that he is bow- 
ing before a barbarian. If Hlndo^tan 
were like England, it would be a very 
detestable place, — that is his feeling, 
avowed or secret, and he can therefore at 
best be quiescent under English rule. 
The negro, on the contrary, would give 
the world to be a white man, is as proud 
as the white of his citizenship, thinks the 
States the finest country on earth, and 
shares to an almost comic degree in the 
prejudices of his former master. He con- 
ceives of no state of society more satis- 
factory than a firee South would be, and is 
ready therefore, if fairly treated to be- 
come a loyal citizen. The Irishman, on 
the contrary, is not ready. He is haunted 
by an ideal which no Anglo-Saxon people 
can satisfy, and which therefore makes 
him consider loyalty to them, and still 
more absorption in them, as degradation. 
The kind of goodness he appreciates, the 
kind of greatness he admires, the kind of 
destiny he seeks is not the Anglo-Saxon, 
and no amount of justice, or kindliness, or 
equality ever completely reconciles him to 
his fate. The Alsatian, again, is recon- 
ciled. HxA language is more akin to 



German than French, his domestic habits 
are German, by origin he belongs to the 
German people, but his imagination is 
with the French. Theirs is the only kind 
of liberty he has ever had, theirs the only 
glory he has ever shared, theirs the only 
administration which has seemed to him 
efficient, and he cannot consent to be 
robbed of his ideal. This generation may 
be enriched by the transfer, or made hap- 
pier, or become more enlightened; but 
Germany will never be to them what 
France is, an ideal possession, rather thui 
lose which a man may be content to die, 
something which so satisfies his imagina- 
tion that merely to possess it sweetens 
life. The regard of the Irishman and the 
Pole for France is inspired by the same 
cause. Something in the history of 
France, in her national character, in her 
ideal of life, satisfies the Irishman and the 
Pole as no other form of greatness ever 
does, and he turns from England or Bus ia 
to France with the feeling with which men 
who hate mountains turn to the far less pic- 
turesque plains, with a feeling of content 
and relief. They are great races, these 
English and Buss, but their greatness is 
not the greatness which entices, or awes 
or excites him, and he turns away with his 
longing still unsatisfied. Three races as 
different from one another in race, habits, 
and language as it is possible for races to 
be, are linked together by a tie which we 
can only describe as a sympathy of t*ie 
imagination. It is because the Teutonic 
imagination, and therefore his ideal of life, 
is so special, so separate, and to an out- 
sider so unintelligible, that he alone amon^ 
mankind, unless, indeed, the Spaniara 
shares his unenviable isolation, attracts 
no affection from any other race; that, 
ruling all races, and incessantly in inter- 
course with all, he has never throughout 
his long history found a devoted ally. In 
Poland, in Ireland, in India, in the semi- 
Spanish States of America, the very men 
who serve him are potential rebels, and he 
has found but one follower, the negro 
whom he oppresses, and who with every 
race but the Anglo-Saxon has isolated 
himself by arms. 



From the Saturday Review. 
GREAT GIRLS. 

Nothing is more distinctive among 
women than the difference of relative age 
between them. Two women of the same 
number of years will be substantially of 



Digitized by 



Googk 



GREAT GIRLS. 



55 



difierent epochs of life — the one faded in 
person, wearied in mind, fossilized in sym- 
path J ; the other fresh both in face and 
feeling, with sympathies as broad and keen 
as they were when she was in her first 
youth, and perhaps even more so ; with a 
brain still as receptive, a temper still as 
easy to be amused, as ready to love, as 
quick to learn, as when she emerged from 
tne school-room to the drawing-room. The 
one you suspect of understating her a^e 
by half-a-dozen years or more when she 
tells you she is not over forty, the other 
makes you wonder if she has not over- 
stated hers by just so much when she 
laughingly confesses to the same age. 
The one is an old woman who seems as if 
she had never been young, the other ^ just 
a great girl yet," who seems as if she 
would never grow old; and nothing is 
equal between them but the number of 
days each has lived. 

This kind of woman, so fresh and active, 
80 intellectually as well as emotionally 
alive, is never anything but a girl ; never 
loses some of the sweetest characteristics 
of girlhood. You see her first as a voung 
wife and mother, and vou imagine she has 
left the school-room for about as many 
months as she has been married years. 
Her face has none of that untranslatable 
expression, that look of robbed bloom, 
which experience gives ; in her manner is 
none of the preoccupation so observable in 
most yotmg mothers, whose attention 
never seems whollv given to the thing on 
hand, and whose hearts seem always full 
of a secret care or an unimparted joy. 
Brisk and airy, braving all weathers, ready 
for any amusement, interested in the cur- 
rent questions of history or society, by 
some wonderful faculty of organizing 
seeming to have all her time to herself as 
if she had no house cares and no nursenr 
duties, yet these somehow not neglected, 
she is the very ideal of a happy girl roving 
through life as through a daisy field, on 
whom sorrow has not yet laid its hand, 
and to whose lot has fallen no Dead Sea 
apple. And when one hears her name and 
style for the first time as a matron, and 
sees her with two or three sturdy little 
fellows hanging about her slender neck 
and calling ner mamma, one feels as if 
nature had somehow made a mistake, and 
our slim and simple-mannered damsel had 
only made-believe to have taken up the 
serious burdens of life, and was nothing 
but a great girl after all. 

Grown older she is still the great ^1 
she was ten years ago, if her type of ^irl- 
ishness is a little changed and her gaiety 



of manner a little less persistent. But 
even now, with a big boy at Eton, and a 
daughter whose presentation is not so far 
off, ^e is younger than her staid and mel- 
ancholy sister, her junior by many years, 
who has gone in for the Iinmensities and 
the Worship of Sorrow, who thinks laugh- 
ter the sign of a vacant mind, and that to 
be interesting and picturesque a woman 
must be mournful and have a defective di- 
gestion. Her sister looks as if all that 
makes life worth living for lay behind her, 
and only the srave beyond ; she, the great 
girl, with her oright face and even temper, 
believes that her future will be as joyous 
as her present, as innocent as her past, 
as full of love, and as purely happy. 
She has known some sorrows truly, 
and she has gained experience such as 
comes only Uirough the rending of the 
heart-strings; but nothing that she has 
passed through has seared or soured her, 
and if it has token off just the lighter edge 
of her girlishness it has left the core as 
bright and cheery as ever. She is gener- 
ally of the style called " elegant," and won- 
derfully young in mere physical appear- . 
ance. Perhaps sharp e^es might spy out 
here and there a little silver thread among 
the soft brown hair ; and when fatigued or 
set in a cross light, lines not quite belong- 
ing to the teens might be traced about her 
eyes and mouth ; but in favourable condi- 
tions, with her graceful figure advanta- 
geously draped, and her fair face flushed 
and animated, she looks just a great girl, 
no more, and she feels as she looks. It is 
well for her if her husband is a wise man, 
and more i)roud of her than jealous, for he 
must submit to see her admired by all the 
men who know her, according to their in- 
dividual manner of expressing admiration ; 
but as purity of nature and singleness of 
heart belong to her qualificiition for great 
girlishness, he has no cause for alarm, and 
she is as safe with Don Juan as with St. An- 
thony. 

These great |^ls, being middle-aged 
matrons, are often seen in the country ; 
and one of the things which most strike a 
Londoner is the abiding youthfulness of 
this kind of matron. She has a large fam- 
ily, the elders of which are grown up, but 
she has lost none of the beauty for which 
her youth was noted, though it is now a 
different kind of beauty ; and she has still 
the air and manners of a girl. She blushes 
easily, is shy and sometimes apt to be a 
little awkward, though always sweet and 
gentle ; she knows vei^" little of real life 
and less of its vices ; she is pitiful to sor- 
row, affectionate to her friends, who how- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



66 



GREAT GIRLS. 



ever are few in number, and strongly at- 
tached to her own fsunilj ; she has no the- 
ological doubts, no scientific proclivities, 
and the conditions of society and the 
family do not perplex her; she thinks 
Darwinism and the protoplasm dangerous 
iimovations, and the doctrine of Free Love 
with Mrs. Cady Stanton's development is 
something too shocking for her to talk 
about; she lifts her calm clear eyes in 
wonder at the wild proceedings of the 
shrieking sisterhood, and cannot for the 
life of her make out what all this tumult 
means, and what the women want. For 
herself, she has no doubts whatever, no 
moral uncertainties. The path of duty is 
as plain to her as the words of the Bible, 
ana she loves her husband too well to wish 
to be his rival, or to desire an individual- 
ized existence. She is his wife, she says ; 
and that seems more satisfactory to her 
than to be herself a somebody in the full 
light of notoriety, with him in the shade 
as her appendage. If she is inclined to be 
intolerant to any one, it is to those who 
seek to disturb the existing state of things, 
or whose speculations unsettle men's 
minds ; those who, as she thinks, entangle 
the sense of that which is clear and 
straightforward enough if they would but 
leave it alone, and by their love of icono- 
clasm run the risk of destroying more than 
idols. But she is intolerant onlv because 
she believes that when men put K>rth false 
doctrines they put them forth for a bad 
purpose, and to do intentional mischief. 
Baa she not this simple faith, which no 
philosophic questionings have either en- 
larged or disturbed, she would not be the 
great girl she is ; and what she would have 
gained in catholicity she would have lost 
in freshness. For herself^ she has no self- 
assertinff power, and would shrink from 
any kina of pubUc action ; but she likes to 
visit the poor, and is sedulous in the mat- 
ter of tracts and flannel-petticoats, vexing 
the souls of the sterner, if wiser, guardians 
and magistrates by her gf^nerosity, which 
they affirm only encourages idleness and 
creates pauperism. She cannot see it in 
that light. Charity is one of the cardinal 
virtues of Christianity, and accordingly 
duuritable she wiU be, in spite of all that 
political economists may say. She be- 
longs to her family, they do not belong to 
her ; and you seldom hear her say ** I 
went," or "I did," it is always "we"; 
which, though a small point, is a signifi- 
cant one, showinff how little she holds to 
anything like an isolated individuality, and 
how entirely she feels a woman's Ufe to 
belong to and be bound up in her home re- 



lations. She is romantic too, and has her 
dreams and memories of early days ; when 
her eyes grow moist as she looks at her 
husband, the first and only man she ever 
loved, and the past seems to be only part 
of the present. The experience which she 
must needs have had serves only to make 
her more ^ntle, more pitiful, than the or- 
dinary girl, who is naturally inclined to be 
a little hard ; and of all her household she 
is the kindest and the most intrinsically 
sympathetic. She keeps up her youth for 
the children's sake she says, and they love 
her more like an elder sister than the tra- 
ditional mother. They never think of her 
a old, for she is their constant companion, 
and can do all that they do. She is fond 
of exercise, is a good walker, an active 
climber, a bold horsewoman, and a *great 
promoter of picnics and open-air amuse- 
ments. She looks almost as yoxmg as her 
eldest daughter in a cap and with covered 
shoidders; and her sons have a certain 
pla3rfulness in their pride and love for her 
which makes them more her brothers than 
her sons. Some of them are elderly men 
before she has ceased to be a great girl ; 
for she keeps her youth to the last by vir- 
tue of a clear conscience, a pure mind, and 
a loving nature. She is wise too in her 
generation, and takes care of her health 
by means of active habits, fr^sh air, cold 
water, and a sparing use of medicines and 
stimulants ; and if the dear soul is proud 
of anything it is of her figure, whicn she 
keeps trim and elastic to tne last, and of 
the clearness of her skin, which no heated 
rooms have soddened, no accustomed 
strong waters have rendered clouded or 
bloated. 

Then there are great girls of another 
kind — women who, losing the sweetness 
of youth, do not get in Hs stead the dig- 
nity of maturity ; who are fretful, impa- 
tient, undisciplmed, knowing no more of 
themselves or human nature than they did 
when they were nineteen, yet retaining 
nothing of that innocent simplicity, that 
single-hearted freshness and joyousness of 
nature, which one does not wish to see dis- 
turbed even for the sake of a deeper 
knowledge. These are the women who 
will not get old, and who consequently do 
not keep young ; who, when they are fifty, 
dress themselves in sauze and rosebuds, 
and think to conceal Uieir years by a judi- 
cious use of many paint-pots and the lib- 
erality of the hairdresser ; who are jeal- 
ous of their daughters, whom they keep 
back as much and as Ions as they can, and 
terribly aggrieved at wieir irrepressible 
six feet of sonship ; women who have a 



Digitized by 



Googk 



ELECTIONS TO THE METROPOLITAN SCHOOL BOARD. 



67 



trick of patting up their fans before their 
faces as if they were blushing, who ^ve 
Tou the impression of flounces and ring- 
lets, and who flirt by means of much 
laughter and a long-sustained giggle ; who 
talk incessantly, yet have said nothing to 
the purpose when they have done ; and 
who simper and confess they are not 
Btrong-mmded but only ** an awfully silly 
little thing " when you try to lead the con- 
versation into anything graver than fash- 
ion and flirting. They are women who 
never learn repose of mind or dignity of 
manner; who never lose their taste for 
mindless amusements, and never acquire 
one for nature or quiet happiness; and 
who like to have lovers always hanging 
about them — men for the most part 
younger than themselves, whom they call 
naughty boys, and tap playfully by way 
of rebuke. They are women unable to 
give young girls any kind of advice on 
prudence or conduct^ mothers who know 
nothing of children, mistresses ignorant of 
the alpnabet of housekeeping, wives whose 
husbands are merely the bankers, and 
most probably the bugbears, of the estab- 
lishment ; women who think it horrible to 
get old, and who resent the idea as a per- 
sonal iiyury, and to whom, when you talk 
of spiritual peace or intellectual pleasures, 
you are as unintelligible as if you were 
discoursing in the Hebrew tongue. As a 
class they are wonderfully inept, and their 
hands are practically useless, save as ring- 
stands and glove-stretchers. For they 
can do nothing with them, not even frivo- 
lous fancy-work; they read only novels, 
and one of the marvels of their existence 
is what they do with themselves in those 
hours when they are not dressing, flirting, 
or paying visits. If they are of a queru- 
lous and nervous type, their children fly 
from them to the rorthest comers of the 
house ; if they are molluscous and good- 
natured, they let themselves be manipu- 
lated, up to a certain point, but always on 
the understanding that they are only a 
few years older than their daughters; 
almost all these women, by some fatality 
peculiar to themselves, having married 
when they were about fifteen, and having 
given birth to progeny with the uncom- 
fortable pr6perty of looking about half a 
dozen years older than they are. This 
accounts for the phenomenon of a girlish 
matron of this kind, dressed to represent 
first youth, with a sturdy black-browed 
debutante by her side, looking, you would 
swear to it, of full majority if a day. Her 
only chance is to get that black-browed 
tell-tale married out of hand ; and this is 



the reason why so many daughters of 
great girls of this type make sudi notori- 
ously early — and bad — matches; and 
why, when once married, they are never 
seen in society again. Grandmatemity 
and girlishness scarcely fit in well to- 
gether, and rosebuds are a little out of 
place when a nursery of the second degree 
IS established. Hiere are scores of wo- 
men fluttering through society at this mo- 
ment whose elder daughters have been 
socially burked by the friendly agency of 
a marriage almost^s soon as, or even be- 
fore, they were Introduced, and who are 
therefore no longer witnesses against the 
hairdresser and me paint-pots ; and there 
are scores of these same marriageable 
daughters eating out their hearts and 
spoiling their pretty faces in the school- 
room a couple of years beyond their time, 
that mamma may still believe the world 
takes her to be under thirty yet — and 
young at that. 



From The Economist. 
THE POLITICAL BESULT OF THE 
ELECTIONS TO THE METROPOLITAN 
SCHOOL BOARD. 

The ^neral result of the great experi- 
ment tried in the election of the Metropoli- 
tan School Board must be highly satisfac- 
tory to its authors. It has settled several 
veij dubious questions, and settled them 
in uvour of the opinions which they enter- 
tain, or rather which they think may 
possibly be accurate. It has, moreover, 
removed several vague, but extremely se- 
rious, doubts which they were not accus- 
tomed to express, but which there is reason 
to surmise floated about in their minds. 
In the first place, and probably the most 
important place, the election has proved 
that London — the province covered with 
houses and called by that name — can 
elect an extremely creditable governing 
body, and that such body is much more 
creoitable than it would have been had the 
elections been parochial. It is true the 
voters voted in districts, and for people 
locally known; but the members ^ected 
were elected for the general Board — that 
is, for a very visible and influential posi- 
tion. Consequently, people who would 
never have entered the lists in a parochial 
struggle offered themselves to the electors, 
and the electors, knowing that considerable 
issues were at stake, exerted themselves to 
seat the best man. Almost every con- 
spicuous person — person that is known 



Digitized by 



Googk 



58 



ELECTIONS TO THE METROPOLITAN SCHOOL BOARD. 



outside London — who offered himself 
or herself was elected. The Board, as a 
whole, is as much superior to any ordinary 
Vestry or Board of Guardians as the House 
of Commons is to any considerable Town 
Council — is possibty better than it would 
have been had Mr. Forster or the Premier 
nominated its members. Every grade in 
society, from the peer to the stonemason, 
is represented — every creed, from the 
Catholic to the secularist, both sexes, and 
nearly every form of thought upon the im- 
mediate work in hand. l%e Board, at the 
same time, is not a mere group of notabili- 
ties, who would have attempted to try 
plans a little too intellectual to content a 
community always unwilling to like anv- 
thing it does not clearly understand. At 
least thirty members of the Board are 
average citizens of the better class, sharing 
most of the opinions of those around them, 
but more ready to receive new ideas, and 
less unwilling to be led by the few men of 
decided eminence among them. Such a 
Board is sure not to get quite out of rela- 
tion with its constituents, and yet sure to 
be a little in advance of them, which is just 
the position a wise Minister of Education 
would desire such a Board to occupy. On 
religion it is sure to be unsectarian, while 
sure not to offend the mjgority by avowed 
secularism, and to allow a fair hearing to 
crochets without permitting them*to inter- 
fere with the daily work of the depart- 
ment. Of business capacity of all kinds 
the Board has sufficient, — though we 
could have wished it had not lost the aid 
of Sir Sydney Waterlow, — while it in- 
cludes five or six minds of striking and 
original power. If we could get such a 
Board for the general government of Lon- 
don, we might safely relieve Parliament of 
that oppressive task ; while it has become 
clear that the best device to secure such a 
Board is to throw London into one, to 
chanse the "Metropolitan District " into 
the Metropolis. Considering the enormous 
importance and at the same time the inev- 
itableness of that change, it is most advan- 
tageous to have obtained such light as is 
furnished by the election of the common 
School Board. It is clear that the hetero- 
genous and disconnected masses of persons 
who inhabit the London " districts " can, 
if sufficiently interested, discover and elect 
persons competent to represent their in- 
terests and their convictions. 

The next subiect of experiment was the 
working of the ballot, and on this point the 
working of the experiment is satisfactory. 
The use of the ballot decidedly promoted 
order. Although the election excited 



much reHgioiis and sectarian feelins, al- 
though it was protracted through long 
hours of darkness, and although those who 
voted were at least as much interested as 
they are in a metropolitan contest, no 
election has ever been so peaceful. There 
was neither rioting, confusion, nor drink- 
ing. No one knew how the election was 
gomg, and consequently no one felt any 
interest in drawing or coaxing away elect- 
ors who, for aught they knew, might be in- 
tending to vote upon their side. So perfect 
was the order tnat thousands of female 
ratepayers of all classes voted in perfect 
comfort, and the election was marked by 
a most unequal attendance of citizens of 
the best class, and of the ^ite of the work- 
ing men — two sets of persons whose votes 
are most desirable, who are unusually 
competent to vote, but who are apt to a 
blameworthy degree to avoid scenes of 
violence or confusion. On the other hand, 
the result of the contest will do wonders 
to remove a secret fear which has greatly 
impeded the adoption of the ballot. We 
venture to say that two out of three of the 
opponents of that method of voting oppose 
it under an impression that it would bring 
out the secret grudges of the community 
— that the " masses," relieved of all press- 
ure, even from opinions, would indulge a 
secret spite by voting down all candidates 
more prosperous than themselves. The 
very reverse has been the case. Of the 
two peers who offered themselves, one, 
Lord Lawrence, was safe from the first ; 
and the other, although a Catholic, was 
within an ace of election. And of the two 
peers' sons, one was returned by a heavy 
vote, and the other rejected, we believe, 
only from a defect of organization in his 
party. Almost all members who stood 
were elected, Lord E. Fitzmaurice being 
the only exception. The typical professor, 
Mr. Huxley, a man recommended only by 
his scientific reputation, stood high on the 
list. Clergymen of all denominations were 
readily returned ; and there seems to have 
been a positive burst of enthusiasm, in fa- 
vour of two lady candidates, both of whom 
belong decidedly to the cultivated class. 
The extraordinary position of Miss Gar- 
rett, who heads the poll not only in Mary- 
lebone, but in London, she having received 
20,000 more votes than the next highest 
candidate throughout the Metropolis, is 
due, no doubt, in part to the cumulative 
vote, and the remarkable interest taken in 
her personal career; but it must also in 
part be due to an honest desire for justice, 
a distinct feeling, as one worthy voter re- 
marked, that, *' as half the critturs were 



Digitized by 



Googk 



ENGLISH OPINION ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



6& 



galB, it was onlr fair a woman should be 
let look after them," — precisely the kind 
of feeling, which as its opponents feared, 
would not be displayed under the ballot. 
So far from any jealousy existing of social 
distinctions, scarcely one man of social dis- 
tinction failed, and only one working man 
was elected, — a fact on some accounts no 
doubt to be regretted, but gratifying, be- 
cause it shows that those who receive 
wages are not at heart inclined to band 
together to vote down those who pay them. 
The apparent ^ntiment of the people is 
also toeir real sentiment, and there is, 
therefore, nothing like mutiny to fear from 
secret voting. 

And, finaUy, there is the great experi- 
ment of the cumulative vote. There is 
not, we consider, upon this point quite so, 
conclusive a result as upon the others, 
though some of the objections recently 
raised are a little far-fetched. There is 
no doubt, a very great wasting of votes, 
but wasting of votes is not pure loss 
to the electoral boly. On the contrary, 
waste implies that the electors are voting 
as they please, and not at the bidding of 
any caucus, clique, or group of agents, such 
as in America directs elections by dint of 
chicane, calculation, and careful drill. 
There is a good deal of danger to be feared 
from that cause, such cliques having a 
strong tendency either to become corrupt, 
or to select candidates whose single recom- 
mendation to their favour is personal sub- 
serviency. It is clear that the cumulative 
vote, more especially when liberally ap- 
plied, does allow of the representation of 
minorities ^-unpopular sects, for example, 
like the Catholics, securing their frdl share 
of the representation to which they are en- 
titled. This is an excellent result, so far 
as it tends to consolidate and soothe the 
electorate by preventing a sense of op- 
pression or permanent exclusion from 
office ; but, unfortunately, the scheme also 
confers a similar power on persons who are 
only ridiog a hobby, and even on any well- 
organized and numerous '* interest." That 
is decidedly bad for the community, — the 
soundness of a man's opinions on alcohol, 
trades* unions, the observance of Sunday, 
or the management of the Order of Forest- 
ers, being no guarantee for his capacity as 
a legislator, while his willingness to accept 
a nomination from any numerous ** inter- 
est " is pro tanto proof that he wiU be 
neither capable nor independent. The 
system to work perfectly will require great 
delicacy of adjustment It is quite fair, 
for example, that Catholics should be rep- 
resented on the School Boards, not fair 



that a tenth of the population should carry 
its nominee to the top of Uie poll, and thus 
create a false impression of general influ- 
ence and organization. The place on the 
poll does not, it is true, matter to the re- 
sult; but no system stands long which 
misrepresents facts, or creates in the minds 
of those who work it a distinct impression 
of unfairness, while it must be observed 
that the very same people who extenuate 
the CaUiolio success because place on the 
list does not signify, exult in the success 
of Miss Garrett and Miss Davies because 
it does. The cumulative vote, moreover, 
is exposed to the objection that to work it 
fully the small body who are by its means 
to be represented must be very strongly 
organizea — so strongly as to surrender 
its independence, contrary to the inten- 
tions of the Legislature. On the whole, 
we should say that, except in cases where, 
as on this School Board, tne representation 
of very extreme opinions is advantageous 
just because they are very extreme opin- 
ions, the cumulative vote is a difficult 
weapon to employ, and, if employed, should 
be so limited as to secure the representa- 
tion only of very considerable minorities, 
and only of them when their representa- 
tion wiU not cancel the just influence of 
the majority. The scheme works better 
than the one adopted in the three-cornered 
boroughs, because it leaves the true ma- 
jority votes to bestow on the third candi- 
date, who tmder the present plan, is almost 
of necessity a minority member; but it 
requires aqjustment, and tends to the 
over-representation of tmimportant sec- 
tions 01 the electorate, that is, to a danger- 
ous diversity between the fact and the 
representation of the fact. The Catholics 
are not entitled in any great English 
borough to seem the strongest section of 
the community. 



* From ThA Speotator. 
EN6U8H OPIKION ON FBENCH AFFAIRS. 

It is still necessary to point out the 
amazing illusions to which the English 
want of imagination sometimes gives rise. 
Our countrymen every now and then, par- 
ticularly when excited by the spectacle of 
victonr» sufier their minds to fall into ruts, 
out of which it is almost impossible to ex- 
tricate them, and in which their only creed 
seems to be the second sentence of the 
doxology, '^as it was in the beginning, is 
now, and ever shall be, world without 
end." Because the Germans have beaten 



Digitized by 



Googk 



60 



ENGLISH OPINION ON FRENCH AFFAIRS, 



French armieB for a month, therefore they 
will always beat them. Because Metz ca- 
pitulated, therefore Paris, which is to Metz 
what a Afirabeau is to a seijeant-m^jor, is 
certain also to capitulate. Because the 
German telegrams, when truth was more 
eflPective than romance, were always accu- 
rate, therefore those telegrams wiU be ac- 
curate when romance telb more effectively 
than truth. And conversely, because the 
French when beaten fight badly, therefore 
they will fight badly when victorious ; and 
because, in their wounded vanity, they 
hide defeat in Ivrical phrases, therefore 
in their gratified pride they are sure to 
indulge in lying bombast. Everybody 
in fact is, like a Teuton, to be always true 
to one and the same character. The Teu- 
ton, whether German, or Englishman, or 
American, is always pretty much the same 
man, does his duty gravely and without 
chatter, fights as hard when beaten as 
when successful, and with his day's work 
cut out for him, does not care two straws 
whether he has been beaten elsewhere or 
not. Englishmen have fought magnifi- 
cently in retreat, as witness Corunna; 
and we have not the least doubt that if 
Von Moltke's hosts were whittled away to 
a battalion, that battalion would charge 
as one battalion charged at Amiens, "^asif 
it were on parade ; " and the last surviving 
officer would be obeyed as if he could sum- 
mon the whole military hierarchy to his 
support. English admiration of that kind 
of conduct is well justified, and is in itself 
rather a splendid trait in the national 
character, but it is none the less stupid to 
be tmable to perceive that there are other 
characters in the world — men who are not 
always alike, soldiers who require stimu- 
lants other Uian beef and beer, who must 
have hope, and confidence, and excitement, 
before what is in them can come out. 
Englishmen without legally appointed 
leaders; or without a consciousness that 
law is on their side, or without a sense of 
duty of some sort, so far from fighting ^ 
well, fight infamously, shrinking from at- 1 
tack like the most volatile of Southerners. 
There is scarcely a creditable emeute in our I 
history, scarcely an instance recorded in 
which an Engli^ or an American crowd 
has not fled before a few soldiers or police- 
men, or, as in the Forrest riot in New 
York, a few untried volunteers, in a style 
which in any other race would have indi- 
cated abject cowardice. A troop of lajio- 
ers would have scattered the London 
crowd that welcomed Garibaldi like so 
many sheep, and a squad of yeomanry 
scarcely able to ride have repeatedly 



firightened the manhood out of a great 
city. A French, or Italian, or Spanish 
mob would have eaten those fellows who 
won Peterloo and who restored authority 
in a whole districl. Our people, to fight 
splendidlv, want the stimulus that fires 
tnem, ana so do the French ; but because 
it is not the same stimulus, English ob- 
servers will have it that it is not a stimu- 
lus that is wanting, but pluck, and after 
an experience of six hundred vears still 
believe, because some demorabzed Gen- 
erals surrender at Sedan, therefore the 
character of their ancient enemy is totally 
changed, therefore Frenchmen, and espe- 
cially the Zouaves, who charged by the 
side of the Guards at Inkerman, have be- 
come cowards, incapable of discipline, from 
whom victory is not to be expected. No 
general experience seems to teach us to 
disregard the teaching of the moment. 

The truth is, that the French are before 
all things an ima|rinative people ; that their 
weakness, as their strength, is sentiment ; 
and that till their imagination has been 
fired, or their sentiment fairly roused, the v 
are no more good fighters than the English 
are till it is their duty to fight. Their sen- 
timent has been roused to fierce vigour by 
what they think the harshness with which 
they have been treated, by the insults lav- 
ished upon men whom they obey, and by 
the demand that they should desert their 
fellow-citizens in misfortune. They have, 
therefore, filled up the armies, and now 
suddenly a hope of victory has stirred 
the imagination without which their cour- 
age sinks like the courage of an English- 
man without food, and the French armies 
have become armies of soldiers again. If 
suddenl V defeated once more their courage 
may sink again ; but if not) the war is but 
just begun, for army after army will rise 
in France just as brave and determined 
and enduring as the Germans, inferior to 
them only in the trainini; of their officers, 
and far superior to them in numbers. 
Should the Germans begin to retreat, all 
France will hurl itself upon them, till it 
may be that in January English journals 
will be criticizing with imperturbable in- 
consistency '* the reckless contempt of life 
and commonrsense so characteristic of the 
French in war.** The very soldiers who 
ran will fight then, to the surprise of Eng- 
lish mankind, who next day will quote with 
approval the description of Olive's felons, 
who in their first battle shrieked with fear, 
and in their last, under the same chie( 
conquered Bengal at odds of one to thirty. 
Cannot our people, who are par excellence 
the people of travellers, understand that 



Digitized by 



Googk 



NEUTRALITY IN AMERICA, 



61 



something other than ''a strip of silyer 
sea" separates as from France ; that a race 
full of sentiment and emotion, of impulse 
and of vanity, of genius and of daring, ut- 
terly dependent on its leaders, needing the 
brandy of success to evoke its courage, 
will not, in great crises, act like a stub- 
bom ftorn^ people, as incapable of forming 
a device as of abandoning one when 
formed ; which derives, if not new courage, 
new energy from defeat; and is as free 
from the Eability to despair as it is want- 
ing in the power to recruit its vigour on 
mere hope ? Cannot a nation of mechan- 
ics imagine that a people ^unstable as 
water " may be as incompressible as that 
element, or believe that water, once rigidly 
bound, may force its way through iron? 
and above all, cannot we, with our unique 
experience in Ireland, where the bravest 
race in the world skulk in frieze from the 
cause of their hearts, and fight like heroes 
in red for causes which they detest, com- 
prehend that there lure races to whose suc- 
cess in war there are certain precedent 
conditions, who need stimulants differing 
utterly in kind from those that we require r 



From The New York Evening Post. 
NEUTRALITY IN AMERICA. 

Mk. C. F. Adams in his recent able ad- 
dress before the N. Y. Historical Society 
on neutrality in America spoke thus of 
Albert Gallatin. 

<* Calm in discussion, ouick in mastering 
the points at issue, ready in resource ana 
adroit in giving shape to acceptable prop- 
ositions, his influence upon the thread of 
the negotiation is apparent not less in the 
intercourse with the opposite side than in 
reconciling the jarring interests of his own. 
It may justly be said of him that in this 
most important emergency, when the scales 
were trembling in the balance, his pecu- 
liar qualifications came in to give just 
the weight adequate to secure the de- 
sired result. Thus it turned out that on 
the 24th December, 1814, the treaty of 
peace with Great Britain was made, which 
has secured the pacific relations of the two 
countries for a period now extending be- 
yond half a century. 

** Of the character of that treaty there 
were opposite opinions held at the time, 
though tne event was hailed with universal 
joy. It was objected to it that in terms 
it settled none of the great questions of 
neutral rights, for the defence of which 



the war had been declared, and left 
matters much in the condition in which 
they were before. Laterally speaking, the 
remark may be true, and yet in point of 
fact it is the very opposite of truth. 
Great Britain, in terms, vielded nothing of 
the pretentions she haa advanced before 
the war. It is not her habit, nor the habit 
of any great nation, to humiliate itself 
unnecessarily. On the other hand, from 
the date of that treatv down to this 
moment not a question has been raised, 
not a complaint made of the repetition of 
any such scenes on the ocean as were hap- 
pening everv day before. The barbarous 
practice of impressment has been volun- 
taiily abandoned. The claim of a right 
to the services of a subject in despite of 
naturalization elsewhere has never since 
been advanced, and has very lately been 
explicitly surrendered; and from being a 
fierce enemy to the maintenance of neutral 
rights. Great Britain has gradually been 
becoming our aptest scholar. Indeed, she 
has outrun her preceptor. For in 1856 
she gave in her adhesion to the treaty of 
Paris, which abandoned the piratical prac- 
tice of privateering, and recognized the 
Erinciple she had so long contested, of 
•ee ships, free goods. Nay, even more 
than that. In the late unhappy conflict 
between ourselves, it happened to be my 
particular duty to make many complaints 
of her alleged violations of neutrality, the 
favorite mode of replying to which was by 
appeals to our own construction of neutral 
doctrines. This being so, I think it may 
justly be claimed that the treaty of Ghent 
was our greatest triumph, inasmuch as 
from that date has commenced the change 
of policy, wUch has at last placed the 
most ruthless belligerent known to the 
world in the ranks of those who recognize 
the principle upon which Washington 
started, ana whicn Mr. Wheaton has put 
into language which I now ask leave to 
repeat : " The right of every independent 
state to remain at peace whilst other states 
are engaged in war, is an incontestible 
attribute of sovereignty." 

" Happy day of a treaty which witnessed 
the estabUshment of so grand a revolution. 
Worthy, indeed, of being signed on the 
eve of that blessed mom, the anniversary 
of that declaration from on high of a 
mission of peace and good will to all man- 
kind." / 

At the conclusion of the address Mr. 
Bryant said : 
<<I have listened with great delight 



Digitized by 



Googk 



62 



NEUTRALITY IN AMERICA. 



and deep interest to the address of our 
eminent friend from Boston, and wonder 
not that he has so perfectly enchained 
the attention of the audience. I have 
heard with admiration the wise maxims of 
public policy which he has so clearly 
stated, and rendered luminous by so many 
illustrations from our history, happily 
chosen, woven into one symmetrical wnole, 
and interfused with his own individual 
thought. I have listened with a special 
interest to that part of his address which 
related to Citizen Genet, who had the con- 
test with Washington, in which he was so 
ingloriously worsted, because I knew the 
man, and remember him very vividly. 
Some forty-five years since he came occa- 
sionally to New York, where I saw him. 
He was a tall man, with a reddish wig and 
a full round voice, speaking English in a 
sort of oratorical manner, like a man 
making a speech, but very well for a 
Frencbnan. He was a dreamer in some 
respects, and I remember had a plan for 
navigating the air in balloons. A pam- 
phlet of his was published a little be- 
fore the time I knew him, entitled " Aerial 
Navigation," illustrated by an engraving 
of a t)alloon shaped like a fish, propelled 
by sails and euided by a rudder in which 
he maintained that man could navigate 
the air as well as he could navigate the 
ocean in a ship. 

" When De Witt Clinton was Grovernor 
of this state, a Quaker, who had, as the 
Scotch say, a bee in his bonnet, called on 
him and said that he had a project to 
submit to him, in behalf of which he 
wanted his influence. It was to gather the 
Jewish people from their dispersion and 
build for them two cities in the High- 



lands of the Hudson, on two mountains. 
Thither he wanted them all to go and be 
happy. They might, he added, make fre- 
quent visits to each other, passing from 
mountain to mountain, and so give much 
of their time to social intercourse. 

*^ Mr. Clinton listened to him patiently, 
and then suggested that there was one 
difficulty in the plan. " Going down one 
steep mountain and going up another 
would be hard work, particularly for the 
women and be likely to prevent much 
intercourse between the two cities." 

" * Ah,' said the Quaker, Han -on, I be- 
lieve was his name, *I never thought of 
that. What does thee advise in the 
matter ? ' 

"* There is a gentleman at Troy,' an- 
swered Clinton, *Mr. Genet, who has a 
plan by which, perhaps, the difficulty might 
be obviated, ouppose you consult him. 

" The Quaker went and consulted Genet, 
who explained to him his system of aerial 
navigation, and assured him that there was 
nothing to prevent the people of the two 
cities from passing from one to the other 
horizontally through the air. 

** Afterwards Hanson met with Mr. Clin- 
ton, who asked him, ** Well, did you see 
Citizen Genet?' 

"*I did,' answered Hanson, and then 
assuming a confidential tone, 'but don't 
thee think that friend Genet is a little 
visionary ? ' 

** He was visionary, and one of his vis- 
ionary projects was his appeal to the 
American people against the firm resolve 
of Washington to persevere in the asser- 
tion of our neutrality in the war between 
France and Great Britain." 



Thb latest aooounts of the state of affairs at 
Tien-tsin and the action of the Chinese Govern- 
ment sabsequent to the maasaore are not reas- 
suriiig. The THmet* correspondent at Shang- 
hai, writing on August 4, gives horrible details 
of the tortures to which the native converts who 
were released had been subjected, but seems in- 
clined to believe that the so called ** pro-for- 
eign '* party is at present powerful in the coun- 
cils of the Emperor, and quotes the proclamation 
in which he condemns the popular charges 
against the missionaries as false. One edict, 
however, not intended for foreign eyes, reveals 
only too plainly the Emperor's consciousness 
that the massacre was directly instigated by the 
officials, and that further outrages of the kind, 
against all Christians indiscriminately, are con- 



templated elsewhere, so that in view of the 
great influence still possessed at Court by the 
anti-foreign party, this danger is far from over. 
Meanwhile proclamations are openly posted on 
the walls, in which the Roman Catholics are ac- 
cused of exercising witchcraft on Chinese with 
a view to the commission of horrible and &n- 
tastic cruelties, and under cover of ffiving a 
magical talisman against such spells, the popu- 
lace is called upon to join in the " expulsion of 
the foreigner." In Tien-tsin the mob becomes 
daily more insolent, and the cry that nothing 
but strong external pressure can secure the 
safety of foreigners throughout China is again 
raised with too much semblance of truth. 

Spectator. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AFTER TEN YEARS. 



es 



From The Cornhlll Magazine. 
AFTEB TEN YEARS. 

Shs. 
Com out beyond this house and garden pole. 
Where I have lived and walked these hope- 
less years; 
These lonely longsome years, whose only tale 
Has been of hope deferr*d, and whose sick 
tears, 
Slow-Cropping on my heart, haTO deadened 
it, 
Till even dreaded pain has lost his sting. 
And g^wn &miliar, os'd all day and night. 
Beside me close to sit. 
And lay his leaden hand on everything 
That once was young and quick and warmly 
bright 

Come out, away; here I am ever bound. 
And only half-alive; dose dinging weeds 

Stifle and wrap my brain ; my heart is wound 
In a shroud of ten years^ i 



feeds 



years^ patience; here it 



On mem'ry's bitter rind, it cannot wake 
To understand your coming, and the life 
Tou say is yet before us; here each tree. 
Each leaf and flower-flake. 
Speaks to me of the past, and, like a knife. 
The &int sweet smell of lilac pierces me! 

How have I spent these years you ask ? Soon 
told. 
The story of 'my springtime! Eight years 
pass'd 
In tending him who parted us of old. 

Using a&tber*s right; and these two last. 
After he died (died palsied, mindless, 
blind). 
Have crept by sadly in grey silent days 
Free firom all care or burden, but alone : 
Voices cold or kind 
I shrank from; all too old to change my ways. 
For two long years now I have lived alone! 

The summers came with tender lilacs tw{n*d. 
And went in rain of rose-leaves falling fast 
Upon the sighing, sobbing, autumn wind; 
They killed me with the thought of summers 
past! 
In winter I could better bear my life; 
I took fierce pleasure in the icy snow. 
The sullen sky, and dead hard-froseo shore. 
And windy moan and strife. 
But summer, with its thrill and murm*rous 
flow. 
Its languor of delight — I shrank before! 

Come— I remember a deep wood — come 
quick! ^ 

Which for this many a year I have not seen. 
So 'tis not poisoned with my fancy sick — 
Here through this gate — Oh! the cool, the 
green. 
Soothes me to quiet, as a mother's hand 
Hushes her restless child; this quiv'ring light. 



And sigh of beechen leaves, this mossy thyme; 
The distant purple land 
Crowning the long low hills, is like the sight 
Of half-forgotten &ces; for that time 

When we walked here together, ere you went. 

That was the last; then I was young and fair. 
And you not grave as now, and gray and bent, 
A weary woman, sorrow-touch'd, with hair 
And ikoe and form time-changed, such Tve 
grown — 
No, no! you cannot want me as you say; 
You say so out of pity; let me die 
As I have liv'd — alone! 
How can I share your life? a shadow gray. 
To harass and to haunt you — no — not I! 

Tou have had liberty, and change, and choice. 

All a man's part, although beyond the sea. 
While I have had to live with my own voice 
And &oe and fiuides, and have had to see 
My life to autumn fiiding ere its spring. 
Faithful you call me 7 Faithful 7 Oh, love, 
nol 
Here let me tdl you, kneeling at your feet. 
Nay, let me weeping cling! 
I have been faithless, hard; and even so. 
Of such black doubt I glean the harvest 



The day you went youth died. Was it then 
strange 
That &ith died too, and tender hope and 
trust. 

And all that keeps us young? I said, uo 
change 
Can hencdbrth come for me. I basely thrust 
Your promise and your solemn oath aside. 
For ten long years I have dishonoured you. 
Dishonouring vour word, wtth dark deq)air 
And bitter doubting pride! 
You have been fiuthful — (Ood reward you!) — 
true. 
But 17 — my love! my love! how could I 
dare! 

Hi. 

You poor woman, hush! I will not hear 

Another word against yoursdf I know 
Your lovdess life of constant care and fear 
Spent serving him who laid our love-hopes 
low. 
Hush, listen, for us both I best can speak; 
Rise from your lowly kneeling. By my side. 
Close to my heart, sweet wife (for wife youUl 
be 
Before another week). 
Must be your place henceforth! Long-chosen 
bride! 
Among all women, you alone fer me! 

I know you better than you know yourself; 

You cannot but be happy with my love. 
So strong, so patient. I, who trust myself, 

Will inake yon trust me, and great Ood above 



Digitized by 



Googk 



64 



AFTER TEN TEARS. 



Will give his blessing, and will make our 
life 
A ceaseless song of joy; and I shall make 
A golden radiance of your eventide; 
So you will trust me, wife! 
Poor face, each line is sacred for lore's sake, 
I would not wish thefle ten years' marks to 
hide! 

Weeping for me has made those eyes so nd; 
Thinking of me has traced that careworn 
brow! 



Now, love, I mean to teach you to be glad. 
Now gay and restful, and light-hearted now. 
So we will spend our peaceful wedded life. 
And in that better life above, believe 
That we shall have our spring-time's green 
delight! 
Give me your hand, my wife; 
Look at the future through my eyes, and weave 
Your sad thoughts with my hopes and visions 
bright! 



AiTSTBiAN Anxibtibs. — Vienna, Great as 
our anxiety is here about the events of the war, 
it would astonish a stranger to observe the far 
greater interest with which men discuss the 
probabilities that are to follow it Now that it 
18 almost a certainty France must be beaten, the 
whole curiosity is to speculate on what terms 
Prussia will exact in a peace, and what line she 
will take towards the other European States. 

Among military men but one opinion prevails, 
that the next campaign will be against Austria, 
and, in proportion as this opinion gains convei^ts 
among civilians, the conviction is spreading that 
Austria should have armed at once on the out- 
break of the war, and made, as she might have 
done, her own terms with Prussia for the integ- 
rity of the Austrian Empire. 

Every regret that the French Emperor has 
confessed to for his own quiescence in the war 
of 1866, every admission he has made of his 
folly in not having taken advantage of Prussia's 
being engaged in a great struggle to seise on the 
Rhine Provinces — all that generosity of which 
he reminded Count Bismarck, and which the 
wily Prussian accepted with a scornful and 
sneering complacency, seem exactly applicable as 
lessons to the Austrian politicians of the day. 
Just as Prussia left the Rhine frontier ungarri- 
soned in 1866 she has left the whole of Silesia 
without troops now. It is true that in the late 
struggle with Austria the event was so quickly 
decid^ thut there was not time for France to 
determine on a course of action, if she was not 
willing to risk a very bold stroke. Here, how- 
ever, Austria has watched day by day the pro- 
gress of the struigle; and, though it is very far 
from being over, she may certainly speculate on 
the most probable termination of the war. 

It is indeed rumoured that Count Beust was 
for a long time undecided as to the course Aus- 
tria should follow, and it is currently believed 
that English influence alone determined him to a 
neutrality. The story which has general accept- 
ance among those who affect at least a certain 
knowledge of passing events is this. Russia 
made it understood at Vienna that she herself 
had stipulated with Prussia that no provocation 
should be given to Austria, nor any pretext 
held out by which the area of the war should be 
widened. So fkr» all was well; but she hat] 



I lately gone farther, and declared that in recom- 
pense for this service on her part she has estab- 
lished a right to ** guarantee Austrian neutral- 
ity, even to the extent of deciding what amount 
of force she should keep under arms, and by 
what limit her warlike preparations should be 
bounded." 

If Austria Could have endured the insolence 
of this pretension while it remained a secret, it 
was no longer possible to submit to it when the 
matter got abroad and became subject of daily 
discussion; hence the great activity which 
within a week or so has been displayed at 
Olmutz, Linz, and Prague, and hence that note 
of preparation which has gone forth from Galioia 
to the South l^rol, and which is even heard in 
the far provinces of the east of the empire. 

To believe, as the Italian press woild like to 
impress on us, that these measures are taken in 
conjunction with Italy, and are secretly intended 
to serve the cause of France, would be a gre^it 
error. Situated as Austria is with regai^ to 
Hungary, any measures beyond those purely 
defensive would be impossible; and the most 
rancorous anti-Prussian in the Empire — and 
there are not a few — would never think of 
counselling a policy of aggression. 

There was, indeed, a very considerable party 
— they were known as the «* Major-GenerAls," 
being chiefly soldiers of a certain rank — who 
would have pushed Austria into a war with 
Prussia the day the troops of North Germany 
crossed the Rhine. The overwhelming successes 
of the Prussian arms have, however, done more 
to refiite the arguments of these people than all 
the logic of mere words, and it is only justice to 
them to say that they were among the first to 
acknowledge the marvellous organization and 
splendid valour which have achieved success. 
Whatever, therefore, may seem vacillating and 
uncertain in the policy of the Cabinet may easily 
be understood by bearing in mind the narrow 
path it has to wa!k and the perils which lie on 
either hand; and, though Austrian secession 
from the Concordat has certainly drawn closer 
the ties which unite her to Italy, she is cautioiiS 
not to involve herself in the complications of 
Italian politics, which would speedily be taken 
up by her own frontier population in the Adri- 
atic. PaU MaU Gaaotte. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LIT TELL'S LIVING AGE. 

No. 1388.— January 8, 187L 



CONTENTS. 

1. Amssican Literatubk, ...... Westminster Review^ ... 67 

2. SsED-TiMB AND Habyest : or During mt Ap- 

PRKNTiO£8HiP. Part n. Trandated for 

The Living Age from the Platt-DeuUch 

of Fritz Renter 86 

8. Some Rbcolleotions of a Rbadeb. CoqcIu- 

Bion, Cornhill Magazine^ . . . 108 

4. Wilfrid Cumbermbdb. By George MacDonald. 

Part IL, Saint Pauls, 110 

6. WnuET and Arnold ON War, . . . Macmillan*s Magazine, . . 124 

POETRY. 

To Mt Wishino-Cap, .... 66 I Ea r-Ring», 66 

Thk Cslib, 66 ! Sleep, . 66 

SHORT ARTICLES. 
Spain and tub French Rbyolution, . 84 I Germination of Palics, • . . 128 
Vibratory Movement of Matter, . 102 1 



Numbers of the Liting Age Wanted. The publishers are in want of Nos. 1179 and 
1180 (dated respectively Jan. 6tb and Jan. 12th, 1867) of The Living Age. To subsoribers, 
or others, who will do us the favor to send us either'or both of those numbers, we will return an 
equivalent, either in our publications or in cash, until our wants are supplied. 



PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY 

LITTELL & GAY, BOSTON. 



TERMS OP SUBSCRIPTION. 
For Eight Dollars, remitted directly to the Pvblishers, the Livmo Aob will be pnnetually fbr- 
warded for a je9it,free (^postage. Bot we do not prepay postage on less than a >ear, nor where we have 
to pay eommusion for forwarding the money. 

Price of the First Series, in Cloth, 86 volumes, 90 dollars. 
" Second " " 20 •• 60 " 

" Third " *' 82 " 80 " 

The Complete Work, 100 " 260 " 

Any Tolume Bound, 8 dollars ; Unbound, 2 dollars. The sets, or volumes, will be sent at the expense 
of the publishers. 

PREMIUMS FOR CLUBS. 
For 6 new subscribers (840.),. a sixth copy ; or a set of Hobhe's iMTRODUcnoir to thr Biblb, un- 
abridged, in 4 large volumes, cloth, price SIO ; or any 6 of the back volumes of the Lrvnro Aqe, in num- 
bers, pAcoSlO. 



Digitized by 



Google 



66 



TO MY WISniNG-CAP. 



TO MT WISHING-CAP. 



W18BINO-CAP, Wishiag-cap, I would be 
Far away, far away over the sea* 
Where the red birch routs 
Down the ribbed rock shoots, 
1q Donegal the brave, 
And white-sail d skifb 
Speckle the cliflfs. 
And the gannet drinks the wave. 



Wishing-oap, Wishing-oap, I would lie 
On a Wicklow hill, and stare the sky, 
Or count the human atoms that pass 
The thread-like road through Glenmacnass, 
Where once the clans of O'Byme were; 
Or talk to the breeze 
Under sycamore trees, 
In Glenart's forests fair. 

HI. 

Wishlng-cap, Wishing-oap, let us away 
To walk in the cloisters, at close of day. 
Once trod by friars of order gray. 
In Norman Selskar*s renowned abbaye. 
And Garments ancient town; 
For I would kneel at my mother^s grave. 
Where the plumy churchyard elms wave. 
And the old war-walls look down. 

D»Arcy McQee. 



THE CELTS. 



Long, long ago, beyond the misty space 

Of twice a thousand years. 
In Erin old, there dwelt a mighty race. 

Taller than Roman spears; 
Like oaks and towers, they had a giant grace. 

Were fleet as deers; 
With winds and waves they made their 'hiding- 
place. 

These Western shepherd-seers. 

Great were their deeds, their passions, and their 
sports; 

With clay and stone 
They plied on strath and shore those mystic forts 

Not yet o*erthrown ; 
On oaim-crown'd hills they held their oounoil- 
oourts: 

While youths alone. 
With giant-dogs, explored the elk resorts. 

And brought them down. 

Of these was Finn, the &ther of the bard 

Whose ancient song 
Over the clamour of all change is heard, * 

Sweet-voiced and strong. 
Finn once overtook Granu, the golden-hair*d. 

The fleet and young; 
From her the lovely, and Aram him the foar'd. 

The primal poet sprung. 



Ossian! two thousand years of mist and change 

Surround thy name — 
Thy Fenian heroes now no longer range 

The hills of fame. 
The very names of Finn and Gaul sound strange, 

Tet thine the same, — 
By miscaird lake and desecrated grange — 

Remains, and shall remain! 

The Druid *s altar and the Druid's creed 

We scarce can trace. 
There is not left an undisputed deed 

Of all your race. 
Save your majestic song, which hath their sp^» 

And strength and grace; 
In the sole song they live, and love, and bleed,— 

It bears them on through space. 

Oh, inspired giant! shall we e'er behold 

In our own time 
One fit to speak your spirit on the wold 

Or seize your rhyme T 
One pupil of the past, as mighty-eoul'd 

As in the prime. 
Were the fond, fair, and beautifhl and bold, — 

They, of your song sublime! 

D*Arcy MoGee. 



From The Christmas Locket. 
EAB-BIKGS. 



From either pearly ear, yeetere'en. 
My love a jewelled lintem hung; 
And all night long, within my dream 
The happy omen shone and swung. 

For thus the glow-worm sets her light 

To mark a ti^st within the grove; 
And, answering to her signal bright. 
My heart revealed its timid love. 

And from her ears, more rosy fair 

This morn, two golden ladders swing: 
And gayly up each shining stair. 
In troops my happy fancies spring. 
O'er snowy perils of her neck. 

In blissful doubt they hang, or risa 
Swift to the blossoms of her check. 
And starry heaven of her eyes. 



SLEEP. 



SusBP, the sole angel left of all below. 
O'er the lulled city sheds the ambrosial 
wreaths 
Wet with the dews of Eden; bliss and woe 
Are equals, and the humblest slave that 
breathes 
Under the shelter of these healing wings 
Reigns half his life, in realms too fiiir for kings. 
Lord Lytton's King Arthur. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITEBATURE. 



67 



From The Wettmliuter Rerlew. 
AMERICAN UTEBATURE.* 

Many circumstances concur to make the 
exodus of the Pilgrim Fathers the first 
fact of importance in the history of Amer- 
ica — in its literary as well as in its polit- 
cal and ecclesiastical history. The Fathers 
were a branch of that great schism which 
counted Pym, Hampden, and Cromwell 
among its chiefs, and the tendency of 
which was to determine new limits to gov- 
ernment and religion; and to place on 
what was considered a surer basis the lib- 
erties of a great empire. History testifies 
to the manner in which these designs were 
accomplished. The zeal and soul-rooted 
opinion which drove Charles I. to the block 
were not widely difierent from the zeal 
and enterprise which founded New Eng- 
land. Enthusiasts like Sir Harry Vane 
might indulge dreams of an ideal republic ; 
but the men who sailed in the Mayfiower 
experienced greater satisfaction and fore- 
saw grander results in working out their 
feasible plan of a new nation. They were 
nonconformists not only in religion, but 
in politics ; and if they and their descend- 
ants long remained loyal to the parent 
country, their very origin indicated that 
this feeling could not be permanent. Iso- 
lated firom the land of their forefathers, — 
thrown upon an uncultivated country, with 
the determination to build homes for them- 
selves " free as the wind which bloweth 
where it listeth," — alive to the essential 
requirements of frugality and discipline, — 
unshackled by any prejudices save those 
which with their former haunts they strove 
to forget, — they were certainly qualified 
to inaugurate a new order of things. Their 
proclivity was, of course, towards de- 
mocracy. 

But, indeed, for a century and a half sub- 
sequent to the landing of the pilgrims on 
Plymouth Rock, there is nothing very in- 
teresting or suggestive in a historic or lit- 
erary point of view. The colonists were 
but hewers of wood and drawers of water 
They were but gathering together the ma- 
terials for an erection the comer-stone of 
which was to be laid by George Washing- 

• The American AnntuU Cyelopadia. Voli. I. to 
Vn. New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1862-09. 



ton. Yet they, or at least Virginia, were 
so far identified with literature when Spen- 
ser, in the dedication to his great work, 
named his sovereign as Queen of the proud 
American colony. Their descendants, like- 
wise, who were contemporary with Dryden, 
Addison, and De Foe, had their sympathy 
I strengthened when an occasional vessel 
brought the poem or the essay from the 
I old country ; but they were nevertheless 
I the ancestors of those who scouted Gren- 
jviUe's Stamp Act, and who fought and 
bled at Lexington and Concord. 
I Thus the early Republicans were pecu- 
liarly situated. They had created a de- 
mocracy ; but their associations still clung 
to the old country, with its aristocratic 
government and remnants of feudalism. 
They felt their common heritage in Shaks- 
peare and Milton. They recognized new 
stars of song whenever any appeared in 
the firmament. They knew at the same 
time that all political connexion was sev- 
ered: but they were aware, too, that 
America and England possessed a common 
l&iigaage — a language destined in after- 
days to link them together inseparably in 
intellectual pursuits, yet to render more 
bitter any disputes and feuds between 
them. Time had altered several relation- 
ships, but not that of speech ; and their 
mincU and conversation were improved by 
the instructive intercourse. 

When the Mayfiower weighed anchor 
Bacon was yet alive, Shakspeare had been 
only four years dead, and Milton was in 
his twelfth year ; ere the banner of Inde- 
pendence was unfurled in America, philos- 
ophy, the drama, poetry and prose had 
passed through many forms. The year in 
which Congress declared the colonies free 
saw the last of Hume and Adam Smith ; 
and these names suggest to every mind 
vast progress in two directions — history 
had taken another shape, and political 
economy had come into being. What the 
colonists were occupied with meanwhile it 
is not difficult to guess. Viewing every 
event in the light of a great ordinance, and 
prayerfully ascribing glory to Grod for even 
the slightest manifestation of providential 
favour in their every-day labours, — es- 
teeming themselves a chosen and peculiar 
band, destined to work out some grand 



Digitized by 



Googk 



68 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



Bcheme of regenerate happiness and en- 
larged faith, — knowing in their puritanic 
hearts no cankering fear of men and no ig- 
noble obeisance to mere worldly dignities, 
but rather facing with a terrible earnestness 
and trust the presence and decrees of the 
Almighty, — they threw aside all humiliat- 
ing notions of inequality, all thoughts of 
worldly splendour and pomp, and resolved, 
guided by the rays of Divine truth, to cut 
out a path for themselves, and establish a 
nation whose chief articles of faith should 
be trustfulness in each other, and, at the 
outset, all freedom and independence com- 
patible alike with individual effort and the 
safety and advancement of the community. 
This was their unspoken but stem resolve. 
For many years they closely adhered to 
it. Their natural sympathy for England 
was not, however, clouded or extinguished 
thereby, although they craved for unfet- 
tered and imtraditional modes of thought 
and action. But they were still in the 
bondage of old world beliefs and tenden- 
cies. The yoke was easy, yet it bore all 
the same on their fresh and brilliant aspir- 
ations. When it was removed it may in- 
deed be questioned whether good or gain 
accrued. In the beginning the prospect 
was hopeful, in the end the retrospect is 
not altogether reassuring. The standard 
was high and noble. Work was the be-all 
and the end-all of their early existence. 
They had to build houses, discuss munici- 
pal laws, and frame clauses amending a 
constitution. Hence they had small leis- 
ure to cultivate literature. Indeed, the 
science of determining what to do first, or 
what was most immediately practicable, 
and the art of living, absorbed their de- 
voted attention. Books were not at that 
early stage in high favour. The pilgrims 
had, in sooth, come forth out of Egypt de- 
spising the bookmakers and the actors, 
with a feeling which made the Histriomas- 
tix their protest against the latter. They 
bad a preconceived distrust of arts which 
seemed seductive, vain, and unprofitable ; 
they felt that One Book was sufficient to 
their purpose; they exorcised the devil 
and sought the grace of God, trusting in 
honest work and simple faith. Notwith- 
standing, there was a characteristic lit- 
erary outcome of all this spirit and 



hardihood. What it was remains to be 
seen. 

In the jostle and pressure of business, 
and in the race for political distinctioa, 
little time is left for the calm pursuits of 
literature. If Liverpool had her Boscoe, 
the fact is to be wondered at rather than 
expected in repetition. As a rule trade is 
hurtful to thought, and to the expression 
of thought. Comparatively few books are 
produced where it bears absolute sway, 
and these are not desiderated. This fact 
may lead to the anticipation in America 
of many feeble literary works, composed 
for the nonce, displaying the blemishes of 
haste and negligence, and devoid of polish 
and completeness. Works of this charac- 
ter are the sign-manuals of democracy. 
They betray a lazy unconcern, and are 
marred by a disguised indifference to pro- 
priety. They are sincere even to temerity, 
and boastful in their insipidity. This is 
true in the main of the literary wares or 
products of young democracies, but least 
of all of America. And why, is not far to 
see. The imconquerable clinging to the 
old home, and the influences already noted, 
sufficiently account for the exception. 
America retains a love for Shakspeare 
and Bums, and is still partially anirantod- 
by the antiquity and nationality they in- 
spire. The American kings of thought 
were crowned in Britain. 

What we have said so far is borne out 
by the turn literary affairs have taken 
across the Atlantic. Everything there 
works in the same sort of practical groove. 
Literature is not exempt. From the first 
it has been so. The earliest things printed, 
about two centuries and a quarter since, 
were the Freeman's Oath, an Almanack, 
and the Psalms redone into metre. Noth- 
ing could more variously and significantly 
afford a clue to the original purpose the 
colonists set before them, and the uniform 
determination which inspired them to car- 
ry it out. Following these points there is 
little, if anything, for at least a centmry 
meriting praise, and nothing on which we 
purpose at present to dwell. 

Tbe instinctive dread of indolence 
joined to an indifference, amounting here 
and there to repugnance, for general and 
polite literature, which they took no pains 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



69 



to conceal, amply demonstrated that small 
encouragement would be extended to lit- 
erary enterprise. There was no wreath 
for the historian, no laurel for the poet. 
The ease that follows successful labour 
had been earned and had come, but it was 
case neither dignified nor learned. By- 
and-by, however, even this welcome and 
honorable leisure was found. And as one 
cannot silence the songs of birds or re- 
verse the river's course, writers of prose 
and verse appeared. Although uncom- 
monly feeble, they were an acquisition. 
They made a start. After all, and for a 
long time, it was an evil, and the evil in- 
creased. The Americans were assuredly 
hurrying to get rich, and few could blame 
them ; but in hastening to produce a liter- 
ature, they signally defeated the desired 
end. A constitutional speciality of " raw 
haste ** arising from the state of society, 
gave as its result a sort of half-excellence. 
In general this is indisputable. One of the 
brightest exceptions to this haste and half- 
performance was Washington Allston, with 
, whose romantic history all are so familiar. 
Yet, withal, there was no distinctive na- 
tionality. The authors, to a man, were 
alavish copyists. As they acted in pos- 
sessing themselves of their territory, so 
they acted in establishing a literature. 
They had overrun, not settled on, the 
land ; they now took a sciolistic cut across 
Europe, picking up scraps here and there, 
and piecing and furbushing them together. 
There was something comically impressive 
in the proposal to re-christen America, the 
northern part of it. Freden was to be 
the name of the United States, marking 
them out as a separate part of the conti- 
nent, and in its derivative epithet announc- 
ing the splendid fact of a Fredonian na- 
tionality. Butthis was before the Monroe 
doctrine had any weight. 

The graver error couched in this pro- 
posal was that of supposing nationalities 
ready made, or to be made to order. They 
are not in the nature of manufactured ar- 
ticles at aU. Mere accident of locality is 
no proof of what is called a nationality ; 
the cause of this is to be found in the 
heart and speech, and the reason of it to 
be traced to a kind of co-operative in- 
stinct which underlies every mental move- 



ment. It is, notwithstanding, indubitable 
that simple attachment to a country fires 
the blood, and has often been fruitful in 
momentous results. The reflection of the 
pristine habits of the Indians and the pri- 
meval forest does not, properly speaking, 
display any remarkable nationality ; yet it 
serves to distinguish in a notable degree 
much of the literature of the New World 
firom that of the Old World. The prairie 
and the backwoods are peculiar. The le- 
gends of the aborigines of America carry 
us away from Europe, although we seem 
to have been delighted or terrified with 
something akin to them nearer home. The 
stem mythology of the frozen north — the 
luxuriant imagery of the balmy south — 
the brownies and bogles of Scotland — the 
banshees and clauricans of Ireland — the 
plumed knights of the Arthurian cycle, and 
the Merlin of Maridunum — the rural 
scenes in the " Grentle Shepherd," the love 
songs of Moore, and the life-pictures in 
Crabbe's poems — are not more peculiar 
and indigenous than are the Indian tradi- 
tions and superstitions of America. The 
North American savages really play no un- 
important part in the New World litera- 
ture. They have their whoops and yells, 
their war-paint and feathers, stereotyped 
and photographed both in poetry and prpse 
— in Hiawatha as well as in Fenimore 
Cooper's novels. 

All agree that as mere readers the Amer- 
icans are unequalled by any other people 
in the world. They support literature, if 
they cannot create it. They thirst for 
knowledge ; but, like the Jewish wanderers 
of old, they require a Moses to strike the 
rock from which flows " the well of Eng- 
lish undefiled." Even when they construct 
a work of their own, the model may be 
found in Europe. They are often vigorous, 
but seldom original. Their strength is the 
strength of a trained athlete, rather than 
of a David who slays his Groliath. Ameri- 
can literature is therefore, we repeat, char- 
acteristically imitative. Readers of Chau- 
cer and Shakspeare, and indeed of our 
earlier and better literature, are backward 
to denoimce or disparage imitation; but 
the authors of the Canterbury Tcdes, of 
Hamlet and Othello^ are fiir above the reach 
of cavil or impeachment on this ground. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



70 



AMERICAN' LITERATURE. 



The iuflueme of the Grerman upon Eng- 
lish poetry, if 1 J88 distinctive and pernicious 
than upon English prose, is yet quite per- 
ceptible. Not less evident is this influence 
on Transatlantic poetry. The youthful 
minds of the countir have been carried 
away by the thoughtful calmness and Teu- 
tonic splendour of Goethe, Schiller, and 
Richter, and the consequence is that much 
of the philosophy and sentimentalism which 
they have imbibed has left an ineffaceable 
mark on their works. Indeed, in mere 
translations from the Germans the Ameri- 
cans surpass the English. But various cul- 
ture is the normal state of the higher in- 
telligent class of Americans. Even the 
ladies shame our smatterers into silence. 
When one hears of American ladies travel- 
ling over Europe and speaking the language 
of every country ; exchanging opinions in 
Latin with the priests of the Vatican, quot- 
ing Greek epigrams to cap a French esti- 
mate of manners, criticising with niceness 
and technical phrase sculpture in Rome and 
paintings in the Louvre, debating the feas- 
ibility of the Suez canal scheme, and ven- 
turing a comparison of forms of covem- 
meiit, — one is reminded of the days of 
Elizabeth and the scholarly Lady Jane 
Grey, of our present bright bevy of highly 
cultivated women, and the perils and pkas- 
ures which commingle with so much pro- 
nounced ability. Notwithstanding this 
national tendency, we do not think the 
Americans favour a Germanized poetry. 
Yet this influence is easily detected, and is 
perhaps specifically greater in Emerson's 
poetry than in that of his contemporaries. 
But Emerson's lines want flow, and the 
thought is too much welded together to 
allow of the freedom essential to verse. 
There is a mystic abstruseness about his 
poems, marring their harmony; for the in- 
terblending of philosophy and poetry is far 
from successfully managed. But of the 
leading poets we shall have something to 
sayby and by. 

There is another ag^cy at work, and 
with like detriment. The Americans are 
over-contented with the " living present," 
and seek an immediate reward'. Their his- 
tory has too often the look of a national 
diary of what is done and to be done. 
Enough for the day is the reputation, good 
or bad, of the book, and it is this seeming 
article of callous faith which leads one to 
believe and assert that American literature 
generally does not wear a long attractive- 
ness. Nevertheless there is no lack of 
ambitious scribblers. Cacoithes scribendi is 
an epidemic. Each individual proser and 
yersiner is audaciously conceited enough to 



consecrate to himself what was satirically 
written by Juvenal of one whom small au- 
thors might envy — 

'* Ipse faoit versos, atque uni oedit Homero 
Propter mille annos.'* 

Yoluminousness is indeed a striking char- 
acteristic; and this in some measure ac- 
counts for the deficiency in tone and the 
Prevalent mediocrity. No people can ever 
ope to attain eminence in letters without 
more careful, and artistic circumspection 
and a thoroughly sincere recognition of the 
graces of composition. Indeed, so far as 
language goes, we have no reason now to 
be proud of the changes introduced by 
Americans into the English vernacular. 
After all, it might have been as well if the 
project of the madly ingenious Mr. Thorn- 
ton (who flourished half a century ago) had 
met with favour. His scheme had at least 
the merit of consistent novelty. It was lit- 
erally of the topsy-turvy 'sort. He pro- 
posed, by way oi distinction between the 
language of the old and new countries, that 
the e should be inverted and the i under- 
dotted ; and by way of more variety he 
proposed the introduction of a few original 
signs of the nature of those to be found in 
a schoolboy's first copy-book. Mr. Thorn- 
ton was an M.D., and although for his 
happy design he received the reward due 
to an inventor in the form of the Magel- 
lanic medal conferred by some "philoso- 
phical society," the authorities would not 
allow him to doctor the language. But 
this successive writers have done lor them- 
selves ; and we now find, especially in the 
newspapers, the language in an unsettled 
and unwholesome condition. We hear fre- 
quently of distinguished men being " inter- 
viewed," and the other day we read that 
President Grant had just " excurted " from 
Washington. Even tradesmen suffer from 
the infection. In advertisements a " Tre- 
mendous Come Down " seemingly refers to 
a bankruptcy; but no — it really means an 
abatement of prices. Again, " Going with 
a Rush 1 " is equal to seUing rapidly. In- 
stances of the Kind might oe multiplied, 
but these are among the most recent. Cer- 
tainly this is one way of striving to become 
thoroughly national. 

If the haste to create a literature is par^ 
donable, the haste to get rid of the pure 
English language is altogether censurable. 
That which has been ennobled by mighty 
genius need not be discarded or (what is 
far worse) ravished by petty scribblers 
and penny-a-liners. Happily, the fevourite 
authors are free from this taint. In some 
of them there is no trace of it whatever, 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



71 



in others there is an obvious effort to avoid 
it. Their thought and imagination may 
not be deep and powerful, but their stprle 
and phraseology are pure. Laches and im- 
maturify are no rare symptoms of the 
hurry they are in to become famous. As 
before observed, this is their most damag- 
ing foiling. How the attempt has been 
made to " raise " a literature we will per- 
mit one of themselves to explain. ^ Mean- 
while," an American critic writes, "we 
were busy growing a literature. We wa- 
tered so freely, and sheltered so carefully, 
as to make a soil too damp and shaded for 
anything but mushrooms; wondered a 
little why no oaks came up, and ended b^ 
voting the mushroom an oak — an Ameri- 
can variety." No English critic would 
have spoken with so much boldness. For, 
after all, there are many oaks, although 
they might be finer and grander. The re- 
cent progress of literature will best be 
shown by reviewing briefly the nmnber 
and kind of works produced during the 
last seven or ei^ht years. 

Beginning with the year 1861, we find 
only six novels (strictly), and but five 
volumes ofpoetry from tiie pens of native 
authors. Inis deficiency is however partly 
attributable to the subsidence of interest 
taken in general literature on the outbreak 
of the war, and partly to the craving for 
books of the hour. Everything tou(ming 
the fraticidal struegle was bought and de- 
voured with avidity. Thus of the com- 
paratively small number of works printed 
in the year, 450 referred to the war ; more 
t .an one half of those were essays, ser- 
mons, and addresses on the absorbing 
theme, and sixty were treatises on military 
science. Next year the same class of 
works were in greater demand, and maga- 
zines were started for the satisfaction and 
delectation (for in magazine writing 
Americans excel) of those who had ceased 
for Uie time to patronize heavier and 
more lengthv works. In addition, an im- 
portant work — a library in itself — was 
completed. This was the New American 
Cyclopaedia in sixteen volumes, the largest 
work ever produced in the country. To it 
there were o75 contributors, whose labours 
extended over six years. But poetry still 
lagged behind. In what was pubushed 
there was little merit, and this bttle must 
be spread over three volumes. Novels 
were not more promising. There were 
more of them, thirty-four, but few of them 
would deserve notice in a third-rate re- 
view. There were, however, over one 
hundred other novels ("reprints"), princi- 
pally English. 



Eighteen hundred and sixty-three saw a 
new state of things. War taxation bore 
heavily on all, and printers and publishers 
were not exceptionally treated. Their 
workmen had been drained into the army, 
and labour had become both scarce and 
costly. Add to this the fact that the 
price of paper was doubled, and it will be 
easy to conceive utter stagnation following 
the lingering and infrequent publications 
of the previous two years. But not so. 
The rod had blossomeo. There was every- 
where evidences of unusual activity. As 
if to defy prognostications and to mock 
increased imposts, authors and publishers 
conspired to make this the golden year of 
production, the annus miraSUis in the lite- 
rary history of America. The effect of 
the war had now been felt, and to some 
extent realized, and doubtless this gave 
an impetus to the publishing movement. 
Well, then, 2050 distinct wonis, of which 
indeed one-fifth were for the young, were 
issued. Another fifth only were "re- 
prints," the best being original American 
works. Poems old and new, made up 
three dozen volumes, and the novels num- 
bered less than one hundred. Of those 
but few may be said to have survived the 
war. This was certainly a full harvest, 
but it was not a truly good one. It was 
another of the premature sort, yielding 
little ripe enough to be garnered for many 
years. And although we do not and could 
not expect numerous masterpieces every 
year, in this sudden eruption of ability, 
something far above the common was rea- 
sonably to be hoped for and expected. 
There is less chance of an immortal poet 
anpearing once in a decade than there is 
of the aloe blooming every season. Yet, 
when a people rises to the height of the 
great argument of war, it may be pre- 
sumed capable of extraordinary effort and 
of marvellous achievements. The heart 
of America was indeed deeply stirred; 
society was mightily swayed by a terrible 
passion. Everywhere there was supreme 
excitation. Within there was no stillness, 
and none without Restlessness, anxiety, 
hope, fear, dismay, tumult spread over 
the land. There was no peace, no calm, 
no gladness. All told of a cruel sad war. 
Those near contemplated it mournfully, 
those afar watched it with pain and the 
anguish of despair. Ere now amid such a 
spectacle of terror, bravery, and carnage, 
when the tread of armed men shook the 
earth and the din of battle rent the air, 
there have not been wanting poets to 
celebrate the glories of the triumphant 
host and the valour of the vanquished. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



72 



AMERICAN" LITERATURE. 



No such minstrel appeared in America. 
Even the fire of Tjn^taeus might have been 
quenched and his spirit awed 'by the sick- 
ening onslaughts between fathers, sons, 
and brothers. It was a civil war of the 
direst kind, and a war too in every respect 
unexampled in modem times. Milton, 
Taylor, and Butler, among others, re- 
deemed the troublous age which witnessed 
our civil wars; America had not before 
her bath of blood and has not now any to 
rank with them. Yet the time is coming 
when the effects of this war will be glor- 
iously manifested in the literature of that 
country ; for no nation can pass through 
such an ordeal without attracting fresh ac- 
cessions of strength, and among her poets 
and intellectual sons scattering the ftdness 
of a new power intensified into inspiration. 
To continue our estimate of the books. 
In 1864 the price of work was advanced 
fully 100 per cent. Yet the number of 
books published amounted to 2028, of 
which the simple reprints and .republished 
foreign books were 434. In 1865, a year 
singmarly prolific of works relating to the 
war, there were 1802 (276 reprints) pub- 
lished. In 1866, the number was one hun- 
dred more, and history and bio^aphy 
maintained their high place. In 1867, there 
were 2110 works, being more than in the 
big year already referred to. Yet withal, 
among native authors there were not half 
a dozen eenuine successes. Other causes 
account for the wondrous fertility. Eng- 
lish "reprints" were in extraordinary 
demand. For instance, "Dickens" was 
issued about the same date by four lead- 
ing publishers, and this "in an entire 
series of novels (nineteen distinct works) 
in thirty-one different editions." The 
Waverley novels were also similarly issued 
by three publishing houses, ll^e sale 
of books was no less notable. Of Dr. 
Holland's "Kathrina," we are assured, 
85,000 copies were sold in four months ; 
and the "Life of the Prince Consort" 
passed rapidly through several editions. 
Again, in 1868, the largest number of all 
was issued, namely, 2208. Yet the whole 
of the works by American authoirs was 
less than ever, " reprints " being preferred. 
What native produce found a market did so 
for the most part at the author's own risk. 
One fact more maybe set down. While 
in 1861 there were of poems five, novels 
half a dozen and works on military science 
sixty; in 1868 there were only five on 
military science, 100 novels, and more new 
poems than ever. But it is now time to 
see what all this accumulation of letter- 
press really means. 



Books are not necessarily literature. 
They are certainly the materials out of 
which a literature is formed, but nothing 
else. Many of them are not worth the 
cloth or full calf in which they are bound. 
These are as worthless as defaced type, 
and as ephemeral as handbills. To speak, 
then, of American literature, or any other, 
is not to speak of the mere multiplicity of 
writers and books. Indeed there is no 
true or acceptable theory anent the diffi- 
culty save the theory of selection. It is 
so in this case. Canon of criticism after 
canon of criticism has been exploded, yet 
our common sense and selective instinct 
remain to teach and restrain us. And 
after all, the grand object of criticism is 
that without fear, favour, or deceit we may 
pick out from the varied herd the few 
notable works which may with fairness 
and applause enter the h^owed precincts 
of literature; and may relegate to the 
limbo of abortions and nonentities the 
tawdry versifications and the idly misera* 
ble prosings of the conceited and temera- 
rious. As a rule, this object is fiilly at- 
tained. Nevertheless, many works wholly 
destitute of merit secure a transitory 
place, and for a season darken the door- 
way to fame. They neither belong to 
the unrecognized trash nor to literature 
proper. They announce the fact which 
mduces us to draw a line between ephem- 
eral and permanent literature. They con- 
stitute the vagabond branch of the great 
system. They 

*' Sport for a day, and perish in a night. 
The foam upon the waters not so light.*' 

After the lapse of a few years, when we 
take a survey of literature, their place Tfor 
it is a casual ward) is filled by otker 
tramps of the same order. 

But it must not be concluded from this 
that a short-lived book is essentially a 
poor one. Not at all. In reading there 
are, as in everything else, changes of fash- 
ion. What pleases now may fail to please 
next month, and what is now sousht for 
may a year hence be obsolete, xet the 
same rule holds ffood in every instance. 
To meet or to lead the fashion many 
things are produced which are put to no 
use, and do not deserve to be. They are too 
tawdry, and flimsy, or otherwise unsuita^ 
ble, and they are (Uscarded at once. They 
cannot be said to belong to the fashions 
any more than the " Hafipenny Journal " 
and the Derby " Correct Card " belong to 
English literature. What hits the fleeting 
fancy is otherwise considered. Season- 
ableness is in itself a recommendation. It 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE, 



78 



attaches works of the class (mostly novels) 
temporarily and partially, as we hare sug- 
gested, to literature proper. And of such 

- works there is ever a glut. Some of them, 
however, have qualities of solidity and per- 
manence which render them superior to 
the rest, and therefore more enduring, and 
they become stock products rather than 
the objects of whimsical likings and de- 
sires. 

This may seem a hard material view, but 
it is the true one. We cannot afford, and 
ought not, to countenance the impostors 
whose mistaken aspirations are their pass- 
ports, and of whose excellence we have had 
no token. And in dealing with a compara- 

- tively new literature, — flie growth of re- 
cent times, we must tread the field with- 
out shrinking, and separate the wheat from 
the tares, — not recklessly nor meaningless- 
ly, however ; for weeds are oftentimes the 
sign of wondrous fertility of soil out of 

' which spring the finest crops ; and it would 
be augnt but wisdom to diminish the 
strength of the needful in the hazardous 
attempt to eradicate the useless. Inquiry 
will, therefore, naturally direct itself to the 
question of the comparative worth or worth- 
lessness of any or all. In this way the truth 
will be discovered, and the real wealth and 
consequent power of the literature will be 
made mani^st. The criterion is clearly 
neither a hard nor a high one. Yet the 
decision come to after anxious and scrupu- 
lous investigation and reflection may 
nevertheless be unfavourable. In the 
present case it is not quite this, but it 
leans this way. 

There is not a score of names in Amer- 
ican literature that may be placed in the 
front rank among poets, historians, and 
novelists ; and there is not one to vie with 
the leading names in the Old World. To 
some extent we have already accounted 
for this. And, further, by critics of any 
worth or position in the United States it is 
freely admitted. True, Mr. Jefferson once 
said that it would be time enough to 
expect a Homer, a Virgil, a Voltaire, and 
a Shakspeare, when America rivalled in 
length of existence the nations that pro- 
duced these celebrities. It may be confi- 
dently doubted whether the comparative 
ages of nations have anything to do with 
the birth of pre-eminent genius, and it may 
certainly be asserted that, whether or not, 
America is not affected thereby. Her case 
is singular. America, from the early set- 
tlement, has existed two centuries and a 
half. This period has been one of striking 
advancement in arts, science, and liter- 
ature. Events have marched past in double 



quick time. Modem acquirements have 
stimulated zeal and engendered ambition 
and perseverance. There has been no 
want of scope, and no lack of means. Al- 
most within this period the acme of Brit- 
ain's greatness in literature, art, science, 
j government, and general national prosper- 
ity, has been reached. And her resplend- 
I ent prestige a century ago was shared by 
I the American colonies. Again, the glory 
of Italian literature shone forth on an 
earlier day it is true, but the golden ages 
of both French and Crerman literature fol- 
lowed the dawn of a new world in the 
Northern States. Moreover, the state of 
the language in the several instances must 
be taken into account. And on this 
ground Mr. Jefferson's remark is peculiar- 
ly unhappy. For example take Chaucer, — 
a name and power he does not cite. When 
he wrote, the English language was in a 
transition stage; and, indeed, to him we 
may well ascribe much of its flexibility, 
vigour, and beauty. He lived in early 
times, but his genius was strong on the 
wing. We call him the " father of poets " 
and the '^mominff star of song," yet 
neither his inspired descendants and lin- 
eage, nor the constellations of song that 
have succeeded, have surpassed him ii^ 
power, in grandeur, and in brilliance of 
renown. He is still worthy to receive 
the greenest laurels bestowed on the chief 
of poets. Yet he was, comparatively speak- 
ing, earlier in point of time in the English 
nation than Bryant or Longfellow was in 
America. Further, Chaucer was (what, 
vrith barely an exception, no American 
poet has been) distinctively national and 
unmistakably originaL But indeed it 
would be idle to comment more on Mr. 
Jefferson's ill-considered opinion. History 
offers no data on which we can hope to 
establish such a theory as he propounds. 
There is no imiform law of progress in litr 
erature. At one time a nation may ad- 
vance with all the splendour of success, at 
another time as suddenly recede with all 
the disaster of defeat. To say that Amer- 
ica has not at present a poet of the highest 
order is not to say or to infer that three 
centuries hence she is sure to possess one. 
Barrow's maudlin epic was a poor start, 
and it spread a bad distemper. Trum- 
bull's " firogress of Dullness " nad the sug- 
gestiveness of its title to carry it through, 
and Dwight's " Conquest of Canaan " was 
as dreary and not so peculiarly attractive 
as « The Four Elements " and " The Four 
Ages of Man," so quaintly descanted on in 
verse by Anne Bradstreet, the first poet- 
ess. Let us hope, however, that Mr. Jeffer- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



74 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



son may be right after all, that the hour 
and the poet will come. 

The Ainericans have so far failed to at- 
tain their share of eminence in letters. 
They set out on the wrong path, but they 
may now be said to be on the fair way to. 
the goal. We have seen that in one durec- 
tion they are far advanced, — indeed, seem 
to outstrip nearly every other nation. Ed- 
ucational and scientific works come in 
shoals from their printing press. Natural 
science has certainly the advantage over 
mental science, and this cannot occasion 
surprise. But knowledge of everjr kind 
and degree is prized for its own sake, and 
is spread over the land like fertilizing 
waters. The distmction De Quincey origi- 
nated regarding literature has a close ap- 
Elication to any criticism on American 
terature. There is a literature of power 
and a literature of knowledge. And in this 
latter sort the Americans excel. In the 
highest sense knowledge is their means 
and end. Their vocations essentially claim 
technical learning and instruction. Their 
kind of genius finds itself most at home in 
providing for such a want. On this head 
there is little to regret and less to desire. 
It is otherwise with their literature of 
pow^i if the term is strictly applicable. 
Their power is of the feeblest character. 
It may elevate the mind, but it does little 
to strengthen it. Neither philosophy nor 
poetry has reached the> altitude that pecu- 
Marly belongs to them. They are faint 
and literally weary. They may constitute 
in time, but do not now, a true literature 
of power. 

For of the dearth of good poetry we may 
still complain. Of late years certainly 
there has been some improvement, but it 
has been slight and not at all significant. 
No great name has won its way to atten- 
tion and popiilarity. No fresh augury of 
coming power has been discerned. Kath- 
er have there been signs of decadence. 
Volumes have multipli^ it is true. As- 
sertion following assertion has been made 
in praise of the continuous and brilliant 
triumphs of the American muse. In all this 
there has been a tincture of ^ spread-ea- 
gleism." Any muse at present worthy of 
the name comes wrapped in a second edi- 
tion. The American muse has apparently 
eaten of the insane root which takes the 
imagination prisoner; for there is some- 
thing so stilted and mechanical about her 
recent flights, that one almost believes the 
poet now labours at a lyric or an epic on 
the same principle that one constructs a 
telestich. But to the plea of *'good 
enough" we demur not. Poets may be 



good without being great. They may be 
more remarkable for few faults than for 
many beauties. That a nation may be 
proud of them is quite another thing. 

Novels do not fare better. They are 
numerous but weak. In this they bear a 
family likeness to the bulk of their Eng- 
lish competitors. Any works of fiction 
really popular are mildly called ''re- 
prints ; " they are English, French, or Ger- 
man, that obtain the favour of American 
citizenship without asking or waiting for 
it. 

Biographies are extraordinarily plenti- 
ful They stimulate an appetite which 
they cannot easily satisfy. And for this 
the reason is not far oft. Where nearly 
all aspire, many want to leam how to take 
the proper roaa to success. This, biograr 
phy usually teaches. It raises hope, 
cheers the despondent, and flatters the 
vain. These qualities indicate, if they do 
not fully denote, its immense value. How ' 
exceeding great, then, must be the attract- 
iveness of biography in a country where 
the avenues to distinction are freely open, 
and where at times the merest accident 
has led to the highest honours. But there 
is a still more marked peculiarity about 
American biographies. They fluctuate in 
numbers acconling to a known rule. The 
turn of the tide comes with the contest for 
the Presidency. In election years, candi- 
dates and probable candidates for the chair 
and vice-chair have their antecedents 
raked up, and their virtues extolled in 
volumes of all sizes. Nor are these works 
all, or nearly all, trashy publications : some 
of them already take rank among the 
choicest works of the class. The "me- 
moirs," " lives," and other titled biographies 
of the late President Lincoln would almost 
fill a library. And very many of these 
were published in his lifetime. Again, as 
a subject General Grant has been nearly 
done to death. Before 1868 eight lives of 
him had been published ; and during the 
year more than thirty others were issued, 
the aggregate sale within a year being 
about a quarter of a million copies. 

The craving for historical works is as 
strong, general, and accountable. Folks 
at home ever desire to know not only what 
is going on around them, but how the 
world beyond wags. When they suppose 
they have learnt all about themselves and 
their ancestors, they think it high time to 
become acquainted with the march of 
events and the diflerencea in character 
elsewhere. Oftentimes, indeed, they are 
indifferent, comparatively speaking, as to 
their surroundii^, while they devour with 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



eagemees and relish every item of intelli- 
gence from afar. To all countriee books 
of travel have this allaring feature. To 
some extent in America foreign history 
usurps the place of this sort of historical 
adventure. We have it on the authority 
of a most competent critic, Mr. Russell 
Lowell, that for one who studies American 
history there are fifty who study European 
historv, ancient and modem. And it is 
remarkable enough that with the excep- 
tion of Mr. Bancroft, Mr. Greeley, and 
other historians of the war, the historians 
of America have chosen — we had almost 
said have been forced to choose — foreign 
subjects. The two foremost writers of 
this class, Mr. Prescott and Mr. Motley, 
have written on subjects of an European 
nature and interest, or on subjects relating 
to parts of the great Western Continent 
outside the United States. With the 
exception of Gibbon and Grote, it has 
been otherwise with our greatest histo- 
rians. Hume, Hallam for the most part, 
Macaulay, and Froude have been content 
with an English field, and at this day they 
claim a formidable share of popularity in 
America. The recent completion of Mr. 
Motley's careful, exact, and eloquent work 
worthily approves the high reputation he 
has long borne. ' 

Judgmg from the division in his " Arte 
of Poesie," old Puttenham would have 
classed 1^. Bancroft under the head of 
Omation and Prescott under that of Pro- 
portion ; for this distinction clearly marks 
out their styles. While we admire the 
ingenuity, fulness, and patriotism of Mr, 
Bimcroft, we reprobate most heartily his 
excessive partisanship. No historian 
should bow the knee to this Baal. Every 
opponent Mr. Bancroft paints is a wilful 
daub, and his intentional portraitures of 
fovourites are inartistically drawn and im- 
properly and imperfectly finished. But 
Mr. Buioroft takes a keen interest in poli- 
tics, and in narrating the vicissitudes of 
parties and the fluctuations of principles 
he notably exhibits his real strength. Like 
the chromclers of the late war, he values 
too much, we repeat^ the exigency and 
prejudices of faction. Thus what renders 
his words most attractive makes them most 
wortidess. It is not so with Mr. Prescott. 
He never assumes the attitude of a mere 
partisan. He never swerves from the fiicts 
Defore him, and it must be allowed that he 
is not more patient in his search for them 
than candid and impartial in his relation 
of them. Not only is he, moreover, one of 
the most dramatic of historians, but he has 
followed a wise and expedient plan in con- 



fining himself to special reigns, in moving 
in a circle large and suggestive enough to 
a man of his uncommon talents. Indeed 
the days and dreams of Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh are alike eone for ever, and the his- 
tory of the world must now be written in 
chapters. In these times we set much 
value on the merest fact or incident of 
past centuries, and we look to qualified 
historians to educe from these lessons of 
wisdom and morality, that we may ap- 
proach the future fortified by invaluable 
experience, and conscious that history will 
be philosophy teaching in vain by example, 
unless we are suited and prepared to fol- 
low the good and shun the bad example. 

The literature of the arts and sciences 
unquestionably takes a high place. It is 
well and far from startling that this is so. 
l^or among the chief requisites are the 
technical instructions and practical guides 
which indicate the best, at any rate, the 
readiest way to develope America's various 
resources. The Amencans have not been 
slow to seek, or satisfied with seeking, such 
enlightenment and guidance. They have 
done far more. TRiey have sign^zed 
themselves by rare and ingenious discov- 
eries, and have made their name synony- 
mous with inventiveness. It is in tms way 
and into this soil that their originality has 
run to seed. As in the war of Independ- 
ence they acted their epic, so now they 
work their philosophy. Their career as a 
people is characterized by nothing more 
stronglv than by their efforts in this field. 
From Franklin to Hoe is a significant pro- 
gression. Nor is their best energy at idl 
misdirected. Opportunity and encourage- 
ment are given to those qualified to fulfil 
the tasks set before them. Scientific men 
engaged by the Federal or State Govern- 
ments explore and survey vast tracts of 
land, and record the results of their ob- 
servant travel in volumes which are highly 
prized and sought after. It is easy to see, 
that for a migority of the people such 
works have an especial attraction. They 
treat of subjects local and scientific, and 
they indicate frt>m year to year the in- 
creasing wealth and gradual expansion of 
the Republic And for these reasons they 
constitute a separate and distinctively na- 
tional literature, forasmuch as here the 
foreigner avails not, and cannot be had in 
"reprints." ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

But let us now endeavour to form some 
opinion of the bulk of American verse. 
And first, let it be understood that Ameri- 
can Literature is singularly and character- 
istically deficient in long poems. There 
are, it is true, many of considerable lengUi, 



Digitized by 



Googk 



76 



AMERICAN LITBRATURE. 



to speak comparatiyely, but the longer 
they are the worse they are ; and it is ob- 
vious at a glance that although the genius 
of the country occasionally mounts high, 
it cannot soar long. Keats has observed 
with much truth that a *' a long poem is 
the test of invention/' and were one to 
accept this as a critical dogma, the de- 
duction drawn from our observations 
would be nigh fatal to American poetry. 
Poe's theory, on the other hand, contra- 
dicts this, and is American from necessity, 
— viz., a poem to be true, to be pleasing, 
to be effective, must be short. A long 
poem he ventures to declare a contradic- 
tion in terms, and we are made to feel 
that his countrymen in the main coincide 
with him, or are constrained not to differ 
from him; for the dU minores who hurl 
their "lines" "idyls," and "sonnets" 

Srorst of all) at every reader outdo even 
e rank brood of English poetasters. In a 
land of equality every man has of course a 
right to essay whatever he pleases, buoying 
himself up with the faint hope that he may 
pass in the crowd, or may even be singled 
out when all or nearly all are so common- 
place. Ardent democrats .we may be, yet 
it occurs to us that the creatine all men 
equal politically and socially did not im- 
plv also an equality in intellect and genius. 
All men may vote by ballot ; but all men 
cannot write poetry. Even were the affla- 
tus as all-pervading as the longing after 
it, circumstances would immediately cool 
it ; for there have been many " mute Mil- 
tons " from necessity — many whose high- 
souled principle, zeal, and unquestionable 
poetic enthusiasm have been altogether 
stifled or diverted — made subservient to 
other purposes of less ennobling tendency, 
narrowed and overwhelmed by the prac- 
ticality of the age. 

For, in communities where thrift, 
money-makinff, and equality are the lead- 
ing or sole iaeas, there is but little hope 
or scope for poetry. The genius is practi- 
cal, not theoretical or ideaUstic. There is 
a restless activity for ever marring the 
finest conceptions of the poet. His mind 
is so imbued with the maxims of utility, 
that it is next to heresy to indulge dreams 
which a worldly thought may dissipate. 
His happiest fancies become a sombre 
figment. Imagination is cramped. Ani- 
mated expression, if ventured, falls on a 
listless ear. The poet may, indeed, revel 
in the scenes around him, and depict them 
for the attentive and appreciative few; 
but after all, wiseacres wul say he ought 
to have been better employed. Or, he 
may rashly go to the other extreme and 



indulge in lotus-eating. Then he becomes 
an object of ridicide and invective, con- 
temned by the busy and pushing folks as 
an idler in society. Cultivate the muses 
as he may, his reward wiU either be a de- 
risive comment or an exasperating rebuke. 
He must either seek vernal retreats and 
warble his wood-notes wild to .the unpeo- 
pled solitude, or he must content himself 
with flights that would evoke the admira- 
tion of the poet who " does," for Hyam or 
Moses. This is small encouragement, 
i'faith. Hence the faculties essential to 
the poet are consequently too often misap- 

§liea, and while the poet*s genius is thus 
iverted from Parnassus to the New York 
El Dorado, his labours in verse-making are 
abortive, or issue in a spawn of idle noth- 
ing or bombastic filigree. 

Fortunately, there have been a few in 
America venturesome enough to disdain 
unfavourable comment, and to hew their 
way through the thicket of prejudice. 
They have regarded their act more than 
the commentary on it. Yet even their 
works are not devoid of the seeming new- 
ness which imparts a gloss to eveiything 
around them. They have peculiarities 
which stamp their productions just as the 
manufacturer uses his trade-mark. They 
realize the truths of poetry in the abstract, 
and creating books which may endure for 
many ages to come, try hard to labour ac- 
cording to their highest conception. They 
are the giants in Lilliput. When they 
sing, it is not of individuals but of man, 
a truth observed Ions ago by M. De 
Tocqueville. Apotheosis is obviously be- 
yona the moon, so far as they are con- 
cerned. Heroes they seldom court. 
Deeds they laud and celebrate. It is the 
principle, not the doer or the practice, 
which they glorify in son^. Now and then 
a glimpse of the centuries big with old 
world history brings fresh inspiration and 
material ; for they have of their own no 
associations inwoven with remote cycles of 
history, and causing the heart to vibrate 
at the mention of noble deeds and valorous 
chieftains. 

Properly speaking, their art has had no 
infancy. Thev have sung out of time as 
well as out of tune. In general, the war- 
rior and the poet — the minstrel and his 
theme — precede the orator and the states- 
man. In America it was not so. Poetry 
flowered late. It was the outcome of the 
war of independence, the etherealized 
spirit of fierce contention assuming a 
poetic form. But the white heat of pas- 
sion had grown cool, and inspiration bad 
vanished. Those near the sanctuary of 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



77 



bftttle and the conflict of great opinions 
were sheerly incapable. iSey were pre- 
mature, and the eternal chord had not yet 
been touched, and there was no loud har- 
monious yibration of song. The presence 
of the '* imperial faculty whose throne is 
curtained within the invisible nature of 
man/' had not yet been felt. The so-called 
poets of the hour were unworthy of any 
place save a niche in the Dunciad. 

Taking these apparent facts in connex- 
ion with the obs rvations we have already 
offered, it is clear that many difficulties re- 
main to be surmounted before the poets 
of North America will confer befitting 
honour on their mother land. They have 
much to contend with which does not beset 
the poets of other countries. They have 
not only to erect their temple, they have 
to clear the ground for it As Shelley well 
remarks, "^e cultivation of poetry is 
ilever more to be desired than at periods 
when, from an excess of the selfish and 
calculating principle, the accumulation of 
the materials of external life exceeds the 
quantity of the power of assimilating them 
to the eternal laws of human nature.'* It 
is this momentous duty they have before 
them. Hitherto they have barely been 
able to fulfil and enforce it. They have 
yielded too much to the fleeting blandish- 
ments of the multitude, and have neither 
withstood nor gainsayed the prevalent 
false notions of their art. With fewer ex- 
cellences than their English contemporsr 
Ties, their blemishes are more numerous 
and more conspicuous. Materialism must 
ever vitiate poetry, and poetry thus viti- 
ated may be the timely outcome of the age, 
but it is neither the masterpiece of genius 
nor the enduring recoUection of giant days. 
It is commonly the weakling of an iterated 
task, the fantastical toy of a fancy and im- 
agination frittered away. 

So soon as poetry is tiie ofispring of such 
laboured effort it loses its ethereal and 
perennial charm. Like a modem drama or 
Durlesoue, it has merely its " run " of so 
many hundred nights. The mistake is 
visible, and not atoned for. Poets should 
never write for the public. If they are 
conscious of such a purpose they cease to 
dwell within the hallowed circle of the 
Kine. Their gift is a pearl of too great a 
price to need the gaze and admiration of 
the vulgar to enhance its value. The high- 
est and noblest poets have lavished their 
wesdth of thought and splendour of imag- 
ination without knowing, or seeking to 
know, the gracious, acceptable, and immor- 
tal service they renderea to mankind. To 
them, to feel was to do. They struck the 



harp and hymned the praise of all crea- 
tion, touching a kevnote which resounded 
through the world. With them poetry 
was truly an inspiration, with us now-a- 
days it is too often an aspiration and a 
care. Even the greatness of our latter-dav 
poets is a greatness of another kind. A 
few bright and genial exceptions irradiate 
the haze and gloom of the vast wilderness 
of versification. And what is more than 
remarkable, the present poets content 
themselves with an altered name and fame. 
In the words of an astute critic — ** Instead 
of sounding a trumpet in the ears of a na- 
tion^ they play on the flute before a select 
auditory." And harsh, immusical, and 
most melancholy are many of their per- 
formances. 

Of those American poets who have reallv 
and through force of genius attained high 
rank, it wOl be well to say something. 

Lohefellow's name is a household word 
in England. Not one of his contempora- 
ries here has had a wider or longer su- 
premacy on this side of the Atlantic : and 
for this we may account chiefly by a refer- 
ence to the very diffusive nature of his 
genius, and generally to his near assimila- 
tion to everything English. He is German 
in a different sense from that Which we aa- 
cribe to Emerson. The country, more than 
its poets, influences him, although his 
translations of the poetrv of Europne lead 
us to expect a varied and active principle 
of borrowed thought. His sight is Jieither 
feeble nor restricted — reachmg from the 
splendour of the East to the midnight 
snows and frosts of the northern woms. 
Tet there is the limpid glide of virtue, se- 
rene and beautiful, evenrwhere manifest. 
Longfellow dignifies ana adorns charity ; 
and both as poet and scholar he is supreme 
in his modesty. He is the saunterer Tin a 
strict sense) among the poets of the New 
World. His fancy is not mewed up in the 
backwoods or on the loamy shores of the 
Potomac. He is far-traveUed, and in his 
wanderings he has divested himself of 
many Yankee predilections which find no 
favour out of the parent states. Everv 
line he has written is silvered over with 
thought gleaned in the affluent realms of 
foreign hterature. There is a finish and 
polish about most of his works quite un- 
usual in contemporary productions; and 
the tone of his poems is unexceptionably 
chaste and elevated. 

Longfellow has studied hard to «ye the 
hexameter a permanent place in English 
— or rather, American — literature; but 
his aim has been frustrated as complete- 
ly and deservedly as was Harvey's in the 



Digitized by 



Googk 



78 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



flizteenth century. Nevertheless he has 
animated it with the spirit of a music deep 
and sympathetic. To our taste, with the 
exception of ** Hiawatha," and some of his 
shortest poems, he has written nothing 
more tenaer and exquisite* ** Evangeline 
never for a moment dispels the enchant- 
ing truthfulness we discover in it at the 
outset, and the attention thus won never 
flaOT. For in description, both of scenery 
and of the homely life of old people in a 
new world — and in the sustained narra- 
tive of incidents revealing much nervous 
Eower and delicate feeling, — Longfellow 
as risen far above the common level of 
poets. Ill-fated Evangeline, in the heyday 
of comfort and hope, and in the vicissi- 
tudes of her piteous wanderings, is a pic- 
ture full of sorrowful beauty. 

Longfellow's genius bursts forth, daz- 
zling lS:e the gorgeous lights streaming in 
the north, when he paints in weird colours 
** The Skeleton in Armour." We seem to 
have the ghastly form before our eyes, 
and can fancv the maiden for whom his 
spirit yearned roaming abroad on the hoar 
wolds and by the verge of the frozen deep. 
The clank of his armour still rinss in our 
ears. Contrast with this the csSm music 
of the " Voices of the Night," a series of 
beautiful pieces — a string of real pearls, 
of which the finest are " The Prelude " and 
the " Psahn of Life." Who does not feel 
the truth and influence of the latter in his 
every-day struggles? Then there is the 
« Spanish Student " and " ffiawatha." The 
first has little to recommend it as a drama, 
although the action is neither weak nor 
halting. Longfellow was not destined to 
ennoble the buskined stage or dignify the 
learned sock. Tet the subject he chose 
affords room for a display of his acquaint- 
ance with Victoricm'^a country and the gipsy 
economy; and there are man^ passages 
which for ethical point and varied beauty 
yield not to anyttiing else he has written. 
*^ Hiawatha " is the very opposite to all 
this. In it we have some earnest of a na- 
tional literature, and no mean indication 
of the occasional exercise of power of the 
very highest order. It is the first perma- 
nent contribution to the world's belles lettres 
made from Indian authorities. It has the 
monotony inseparable from ballad poetry, 
and it has all the unreal excellences and 
drawbacks one expects to find in a profess- 
edly Indian poem. It is childlike as Indian 
life itself^ yet possesses the vi^ur and dar- 
ing of th^ Tecumseh and the Mohican. The 
strong fibre of legend which joins and runs 
through the series of idyls of which it is 
made up, unites like a cable of fancy the 



weird and pagan traditions of the frozen 
noith of Europe and America. Longfel- 
low's later works are worthy of his reputa- 
tion. The " Tales of a Wayside Inn " was 
patiently looked for and popularly appre- 
ciated. Since then we have had, among 
others, ** Victor Galbraith," and the sou')- 
rous ringing of the " Bells of Lynn." W th 
all his admitted shortcomings, Longfellow 
must be pronounced the chief of American 
poets. The compass of his power is not 
great ; but if his pitch does not reach the 
diapason, his variations attract and win 
perhaps a better and more approving au- 
dience. 

Next to Longfellow, the American poet 
most popular in this country is the erratic 
and ill-fated Virginian, Edgar Allan Poe« 
Poe's life was not reflected in his poetry, 
else few but readers of morbidly sensation- 
al works would read it. Indeed, nothing is 
more opposite than the debasement of the 
one, ana the purity of the other. Now 
and then there is a fierce sternness in his 
poems; but they are often characterized 
oy a spirit like that which pervades the* 
« ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir," op 
tl^t which animates the sombre versifica- 
tion of "The Raven." This latter work 
we think is an ominous reflex of the poet's 
character; but its rhythm flows more 
smoothly than did the current of the 
author's life. It is the measured roll of 
the waves of a majestic river, heard on an 
eerie night. In much that Poe wrote there 
is evidence of the insanity of genius, the 
waywardness and fitfulness of great power 
prostituted, and the maudlin drcarinesfi of 
a wasted and hopeless existence. But 
least of all is this seen in his poetry. When 
worshipping at the shrine of the muses he 
was devout enough. He was invariably 
on his best behaviour when he entered 
their presence. Consequently the best of 
his life was infused into his poetry. He 
locked Caliban in the closet before he 
wrestled with the spirit of purity and har- 
mony. 

Poe's " Philosophy of Composition " im- 
parts an insight into the workings of his 
mind. He knew the power of words — 
'^the hidden power of words and might of 
magic spell." To him, when properly mar- 
shalled, they appeared a brilliant phalanx, 
and it is no cavil to say that he generally 
paid more attention to them than to the 
thoughts which they were meant to ex- 
press. This is manifest whether we look, 
on the one hand, at his incoherent " Al 
Aaraaf," or, on tiie other, consider with 
what dexterity, pith, and variety he has 
rang the wild and mirthful music of '* The 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



79 



BeDs." Wa poetry was indeed laboured ; 
and the reader soon detects its lack of 
spontaneity. Yet where would we seek 
for a piece of more unforced and softer 
music — a sweeter tale of passion and 
fancy, than " Annabel Lee " ? The name 
suggests the pleasant moments spent in 
perusinff it, and recalls the intense sensa- 
tions of delight and thankfulness experi- 
enced at the time. But withal, there is 
nothing in Poe's works which might not 
haye been written in England, or any- 
where. He belongs to no constellation of 
song. He was a comet, and it will be 
long ere his fellow appear. Indeed, Low- 
dl has well remarked, that one Poe is 
quite enough, and that the world could 
not endure a second. 

N. P. Willis and Dana now claim a pass- 
ing comment. The former, it may be 
said, moves in the world around hun — 
takes note of its ongoines, and reports 
progress in melodious and finished verse. 
The latter has more of a didactic turn of 
mind, albeit he deals now and then in the 
terrible and unreal Dana aims at preach- 
ing a high philosophy ; Willis at illustrat- 
ing the difirorent phases of every-day life. 
The descriptions in N. P. Willis's poems are 
exact and finely touched; ana he has 
drawn with an expert pencil a sketch of 
the manners of tiie age. His mood is 
hearty, and his sympathies are broad and 
lively. His poetry as a rule evinces much 
verv€f is full of amiability and tenderness, 
and embellished by tasteful and pleasing 
characteristics. Moreover, his dramatic 
poems have been the most successful in 
America. In Dana there are ^ the mak- 
ings" of a great poet; but the elements 
have been carelessly strewn. He is en- 
dowed with some of the very highest 
qualities, and he exercises them to some 
purpose ; but there is wanting the spark 
which kindles all into a blaze of true 
genius. Yet he has done much, and nobly 
too. He is unlike most of his contempora- 
ries in one respect — he is more subjective. 
His works are mostly verified reflections. 
The inner man and not the outer world 
engages him ; and his poetry is the thrill- 
ing record of a deep and a^iy^s contem- 
I>lation. And for this rcL on he is less 
yrical and fancifid. Indeed, Dana is one 
of the few poets in whom we recognize 
the holy blending of poetic genius and 
Btronz religious fervour. He has, however 
thougn not very perceptibly or offensively, 
traits of exaggeration and incompactness, 
but these do not lay waste his uniformly 
facile and striking expression. In their 
local poems both Dana and Willis are es- 



sentially American. These reflect the 
venr peat^moke of the log huts. 

We have left until now the most Ameri- 
can of all the i)oets — William CuUen 
Bryant. Bryant is not national merely 
through his choice and treatment of 
themes. He is national in a fuller sense. 
He seems to have grown from childhood 
with the growth of the nation. His works 
mirror its feelings, passions, and desires. 
Unlike Longfellow, the word old has no 
charm for him. He is content to be the 
reporter of natural and local manifesta- 
tions, the portrayer of purely national 
features. And he is fitted so to be. Hia 
simplicity is the simplicity of first impres- 
sions. His poems are mere thinkings 
aloud in praise of the enchanting beauties 
of character and scenery around him. Yet 
all the while he is conscious of the secret 
of his country's power, and he pines for 
liberty as a fond mother does for her ab- 
sent child, and with a like tenderness. 
But he is not stronglv passionate. He has 
more of a pensive melancholy, and he loves 
to commune in solitude with the spirits of 
the forest. In some of his best poems we 
seem to hear the solemn music of the 
" Dead March in Saul." Indeed, at times 
his fancy appears to hover over the glori- 
fied departed laid to rest in some shaded 
necropolis. Bryant is emphatically the 
man of the woods; or, as he himself would 
express it, one of ^ the sages and hermits 
of the solemn wood." His true orison is 
the " Forest Hymn." He ever manifests 
what we may term the druidical spirit of 
poetry. He loves the woodlands, for there 
ne may worship God in secret and with 
uninterrupted fervour and consolation. 
"The groves were God's first temples," 
he sings, believing that they are worthy 
still to be so. Yet if he were less austere, 
if he shook off the melancholy which is 
really oppressive, he would become at 
once ^ater l^an he is. Even in a poem 
on " June " he cannot forget the darksome 
ways of Ufe. There he chants of — 

** A cell within the fVoxen mould, 
A ooflin borae thro* sleet. 
And iov oloads above it rolled, 
While fieroe the tempest beat" 

And all this although Mr. Bryant has 
long been an active editor of a partisan 
newspaper. Embroiled in politics he has, 
however, never ceased to cultivate and 
consort with the muses. His love of rural 
life is too sincere to allow him to become 
urban even in thought. His verses about 
the city are failures. He is in the city, 
but not of the city. He prefers to stroll 



Digitized by 



Googk 



80 



AMBRIOAN LITERATURE. 



by green &elds and rivers and through 
woods already reflected in his verse, to 
hear the silvery music of tinkling streams 
in his own vernal retreats. It is this long- 
ing, and liking, and doing, which have im- 
parted its charm to *^ Ihanatopais," the 
very essence of all that can be said in a 
deep and fdrvent admiration of nature, 
and one of the finest and best poems in 
every sense in the English language. Had 
Bryant written nothing else, this poem 
would have embalmed his memory. 
Wordsworth has written nothing of the 
same sort to surpass it There is a differ- 
ent presence in " The Ages." This, if not 
his best, is one of his best poems. It is a 
mournfiil retrospect of change, decay, and 
death. It is a smcere amplincation of the 
truth that ** thro' the ages an increasing 
purpose runs," though here that purpose 
visibly lingers in the Valley of the Shadow 
of Death. In " The Indian Girl's Lament " 
and ** An Indian Story " there are touches 
of life and character peculiar to America, 
showing us how sure is the aim (whatever 
the effect) to create an indigenous section 
of literature; and confirming what we 
have said as to the depth, breadth, force, 
and general happy variety of Bryant's 
truly national gemus. 

In so rapid a survey we cannot hope 
to pay even moderately fair tribute to the 
few poets whose names are worthy to be 
selected ; and for the present, at least, we 
must pass over Lowell, in whom the 
youthful fun and freshness of the nation 
seem typified, and Holmes, the most culti- 
vated wit, if not the chief humorist 
America has produced. The "Biglow 
Papers " and the " Autocrat of the Break- 
fast Table," among other of their works, 
have gained for them here, as well as in 
their own country, a meed of praise as 
hearty and universal as it is merited and 
esteemed. The humorists of America are 
not the least national and characteristic of 
the race; and it would be idle and far 
from just to treat them lightly or within 
the compass of hurried and cursory ob- 
servations. But a word as to Whittier 
and Walt Whitman. 

Whittier is the American lyrist par emi- 
nence. He has no rival, but many follow- 
ers. He feels deeply, keenly, and strongly, 
and his utterance is aglow with the nassion 
of which it is the form and embodiment. 
He is truly national in the most compre- 
hensive sense, being violently swayed b^ 
every passing ffust of New England prc})- 
udice, and at uie same time rooted m a 
belief more fixed than tolerant. Many of 
his poems smack of bitterness, and too 



many of them are a sort of versified 
** heedless rhetoric." Tet Whittier has 
" done the State some service." Although 
no formally laureated bard, he was none 
the less the laureat of the Anti-Slavery 
Society. He pleaded strenuously and 
powerfully for the oppressed negroes, and 
to his constancy and warmth of advocacy 
may well be ascribed a share of the suc- 
cess of emancipation. Moreover, his de- 
lightful " Songs of Labour " constitute him 
the laureat of crafts and craftsmen. His 
tender sympathy and unvarying kindliness 
in all that concerns the labours and dis- 
tress of mankind, attract and secure our 
approval more than his froward, needless,, 
and valueless partisanship in verse repels 
us. He is, further, a Quaker of the 
Quakers ; and almost the only subject he 
has chosen from the old world he turns to 
good account in favour of the sect. 

" Up the streets of Aberdeen, 
By the kirk and village greon. 

Rode the laird of Ury; 
Close behind him, oloee beside. 
Foul of mouth and evil eyed 
Pressed the mob io fury.*' 

The laird of Ury, Mr. Barclay, being 
unpopular solely on account of his fisdth, is 
in dtmger from the crowd, when an old 
friend just returned from the German wars 
comes to his assistance, but Ury prefers to 
remonstrate with his enemies ; and, after 
a sensible lecturing of them, moralizes 
thus: — 

'* Happy he whose inward ear 
Angel oomfortings can hear 

0*er the rabble's hiughter; 
And while Hatred's fagots bum. 
Glimpses through the smoke disoem 

Of the good hereafter. 

** Knowing this, that never yet 
Share of truth was vainly set 

In the world's wide &llow; 
After hands shall sow the seed. 
After hands from hill and mead 

Reap the harvest yellow." 

"Mogg Megone" is Whittier's master- 

Eiece, mhough the tender idyll, ** Snow- 
ound," with its rare and beautiful re- 
collections of home life, piety, thrift, and 
affection, is by far the most popular, sur- 
passing in this respect every other poem in 
America. "Mogg Megone" is slight in 
construction, and in parts shows the poet 
at his feeblest: still, as a whole, it is a 
texture woven in the national loom, and 
each thread of it has a human and touch- 
ing interest for every New Englander. It 
is, as the author says, a mere framework 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



81 



for sketches of scenery and the portrayal 
of the character and habits of the early 
settlers who dwelt on the very boundaries 
of the war-path. Although ostensibly an 
Indian tale, the aboriginal element is sub- 
dued, and we meet with none of the ex- 
travagances and imaginings that fill up the 
coloured pases of fiction. Again we nave 
Whittier at ms best in his pieces written 
during the war. He was even fierce in his 
earnestness and longing for the triumph 
of the Northern cause ; hence the stern 
defiance, spirit, and stimulus of his martial 
lyrics. ' 

Walt Whitman is altogether another 
sort of man, having no sectional predilec- 
tions, no hankerins anxieties, no portable 
advocacy, and little sentiment. He is a 
child of nature, and of nature in a rude 
Btate. He has forced himself to believe 
that stretched on his back beneath a burn- 
ing sun is the proper attitude for the 
v<iies of a nation whose forte is confessedly 
"loafing and writing poems." Whitman 
has hf^ the diversified, chequered, and 
somewhat wild career of a farmer's son — 
has been almost anything, from a clod- 
hopper to a poet — passing through the 
stages of government clerk, printer, and 
editor. He has proved himself a modem 
Ulysses with a "bee in his bonnet ** (let it 
be seen whether there will not be much 
honey by-and-by), always roaming with a 
hungry heart, seeing much of men and 
mtLDnen, feeling much of climates and gov- 
ernments, himself far from least, and yet 
receiving honour from no one save a few 
daring friends. Ulvsses surely in all but 
the honour that will come hereafter. 

Yet it may weU be asked, is he a true soul 
fit for the work he has set before him ? We 
venture to say, that in all likelihood the 
verdict of the future will be given in his 
favour. He is endowed with the very qual- 
ities and capacity essential to the achieve- 
ment of any original masterpiece. Over 
his writing-table he has pinned a slip of 
paper with the words on it **Make the 
Work'* This resolve he anxiously keeps 
before him, and in this quaint remembran- 
cer we see the man ana his lofty purpose. 
In ** Leaves of Grass" he hopes to indicate 
that American genius may reach the su-, 
preme arch of song without any reliance on i 
foreign assistance. That he has himself 
succeeded so far without calling for such 
aid is indisputable ; it remains, however, to 
be seen, whether the "setting" of his 
thoughts will accord with the taste of a 
new generation, or whether he will be able 
to modify their taste to his will. At pres- 
,ent, indeed, he is a literary Ishmael, al- 
uvmo AOB. VOL. XX. * 892 



though rich in the praise and good opinion 
of Emerson. Of Whitman's " Leaves of 
Grass '^ Emerson has said that it is "the 
most extiTAordinary piece of wit and wisdom 
that America has yet contributed." And 
certainly it is like everything he has writ- 
ten — exceptionally original, and in a sense 
vividly natural — fresh, hopeful, self-reliant. 
His mind rolls out its waves of thought, 
and they bufiet against the conventionaUsm 
of the age. This he desires, this he aims 
at, and in this he succeeds. 

But in Walt Whitman, as elsewhere in 
America, originality rushes off at a tangent. 
Angularities of character and eccentricities 
of conduct are as common there as dull 
uniformity is among ourselves. This eccen- 
tricity is an aftergrowth, and in some meas- 
ure an exotic. Still, planted where it is it 
buds and blooms with marvellous fre- 
quency. In American female character we 
have the fullest and surest exemplification 
of its extravagance. The irritable, the 
bellicose, and the loquacious women of the 
New World all aid us in penetrating the 
secret. And when we find the secret, it is 
merely a rampant and uncontrolled ambi- 
tion. While there are some appearances 
of an influence such as Mrs. Hutcninson or 
Hannah More would have exercised, there 
is a twin petulance and forwardness allied 
therewith, to which these virtuous and 
high-minded writers could never have con- 
descended. From the transcendental blue- 
stockings to the excited and irritable ad- 
vocates of woman's rights, the peaceful 
have much to bear with in America ; but it 
is some relief to know that there is a pleas- 
ing and joyful sisterhood of song discour- 
aging tins pretentiousness and desperate 
voicefulness. The most charming is Mrs. 
Sigoumey, whose " Sonss of the A&ctions" 
fill the heart like a suiMen joy or sorrow, 
and picture a life serenely pure and homely. 

The influence of the Germans upon 
American prose literature is even more per- 
ceptible than upon the poetry. Contact 
with an age of which Goethe was the rul- 
ing spirit has had its due efifect in deepen- 
ing the channels of American thought. 
Emerson is the most illustrious of this 
Teutonic school ; but of him^ we repeat, we 
cannot attempt to say much at present. 
But this much — no Teuton could be more 
subjective. Emerson sits under the tree 
planted by Fichte. His essays sparkle with 
many real brilliants; and there is in his 
" English Traits " an ease and fluency 
quite refreshing, because so seldom to be 
met with in the sententionsness and apho- 
ristic pith of his charaoteristio style. 

There is the development of an opposite 



Digitized by 



Googk 



82 



AMERICAN LITEBATUBS. 



nature in Benjamin Franklin. In eyery 
sense he is the antithesis of Emerson. 
The one is the typical new man of a new 
nation, caring nothing and affected little 
by "old experience," or the history and 
prejudice of the past ; working for the re- 
alization of his own conception of truth ; 
defying alike systems old and new, yet 
drawing his inspiration £rom a keen con- 
templation of foreign mind. The other is 
the American of the Americans. His 
works are the index to the country's suc- 
cess, and the best criterion of its ability. 
Everywhere he was the civis AmericantAS, 
and by precept and example, and that 
without the aid or advantage of knowl- 
edge gained by regulated and scholastic 
training, did much to win for America an 
individually distinctive character. Nor did 
he hesitate to appropriate whatever he 
came across and esteemed of value. He 
learnt in London what he improved and 
converted to use in Philadelphia. It may 
be said that Franklin brought philosophy 
down from heaven, and applied it to the 
cutting of timber, the buuding of houses, 
and the settlement of fiscal affisiirs. His 
was the early myriad-mind of America, 
and utilitv was its leading feature. The 
origin of America's mechanical superiority, 
as of its mercenary ihiift, is to be found 
in Franklin's everyday philosophy. When 
he sent forth sheets of maxims and sug- 
gestions, he looked for immediate and im- 
portant results; for he knew well that 
sudi agents would materially temper the 
events to come. Essays, tracts, letters, 
almanacks, and reports were issued by 
him, bearing the stamp of a nationality, 
or at least what stood for a nationality, 
that he himself had mainly created. 

There is another American t^ whom we 
may allude in passing. His name is vene- 
rated by his countrymen, for few did more 
than Dr. Channing to foster a fine taste, 
to promote originality, and to purify 
American literature. Certainly his influ- 
ence on higher thought is not to be com- 
pared with the intense and efficient influ- 
ence previously wielded by Dr. Jonathan 
Edwards. To Edwards, indeed, the heavi- 
est tribute may be paid. In no sense was 
he a charlatan 'or a commonplace thinker. 
He was the exalted t^e of a metaphysi- 
cian and theologian m one, and while he 
has found no fit successor in America, he 
has challenged, merited, and sustained a 
Mffh and abiding reputation in the Old 
m>rld. But Edwards was not strictly an 
American* Loi^ff before the Republic had 
been dreamt of he had won the fame 
which he bequeathed aa a treasure to his 



native colony. Channing was bom under 
other auspices, gloried in his birth, and 
was proud to write a sketch of the young 
literature which he hopefully prociaimea 
the beginning of a mighty national monu- 
ment. Channing's religion was the re- 
ligion of common life in America. He in- 
terblended politics and religion, and 
breathed into his every sermon, criticism, 
and lecture the free and dauntless spirit 
of a good enthusiast and patriot. 

These were essayists in the lofty sense. 
But as a rule, the essay is the latest pro- 
duct of any literary age. It is the signet 
in the ring of literature by which the age 
is characteristically impressed. It be- 
tokens leisure and polish. An age of 
leisure may bring with it habits of luxury 
and indolence, yet without it there can be 
no hope for the production of a permanent 
literature. Among the Romans, as among 
all the ancients, the vita umbratica was an 
acknowledged incident of pre-eminence in 
letters. I^ose who run may read, but 
those who write will find running hope- 
lessly impossible. The Americans, with 
excellent models at hand, have given us 
essays of a high order. They have culled 
their bouquets from our trim Addisonian 
garden — Flori/eris ut apes in saltibus omntd 
libant. 

The periodical essays in the North, Amer- 
ican Review and the Atlantic Monthly y for 
instance, are in every sense equal to the 
best in our own reviews. There is an 
occasional tartness about them, but they 
are seldom deficient in knowledge, in wide 
appreciative sympathy and critical acumen. 
And this excellence is found in both the 
critical and creative essays. Emerson is 
at the head of one class, and Washington 
Irving is at the head of the other class. 
But Emerson's merits and idiosyncrasies 
are not to be mapped out in the few sen- 
tences we could now devote to him, and 
Washington Irving speaks in England for 
himself From the sketches of " Rip Van 
Winkle " and " The Wife " to the medita- 
tions upon books and Westminster Abbey, 
is a gradus which covers much of the finest 
prose writing in the English language. 
Again, Poe and Wirt are tne antipodes of 
QwAi other. Poe's essay style was keen 
and incisive. Wirt, on the other hand, is 
almost a gushing writer, with much to say 
that he says well, and with the true in- 
stinct of an eloquent preacher turned 
essayist. Wirt has written many moral 
essays which endow him with a reputation 
inferior to few since the time of Dr. John- 
son. 

The antecedents of the Americans, aa 



Digitized by 



Googk 



AMERICAN LITBRATURE. 



88 



well as their Burroundings and habits of 
Hfe, seem more favourable to the existence 
of romance and the novel than they are in 
reality. A new countrv, fresh associations, 
and incidents originality may appear ad> 
mirable and inevitable inspirers of this 
kind of literature ; but on reflection few 
will doubt that Eld is the open sesame^ and 
that there is nothing but the form novel. 
The want of memories and of even the 
echo of ♦* ancestral voices," most assuredly 
damps and painfully discourages the new- 
bom power. And, admittedly, in our day 
nothing more delights Americans than the 
perusal of a Waverley Novel, or " Nicholas 
Nickleby," or « Vanity Fair : " the life de- 
picted is so unlike theirs, they cannot but 
oe attracted and interested. "* Chevy 
Chase,' 'Ivanhoe,' and the 'Orlando 
Furioso,'" says an American reviewer, 
"may be read to^ay in Wisconsin; but 
America reads them as she reads ' iBsop's 
Fables.' It is true," he adds, "that we 
have no past,* no mist, no myths. We had 
one hero of romance, but his name was 
John Smith." Nevertheless, it is natural 
and humanly unavoidable for any people 
to read without discovering somewhere 
amonff them emulative spirits ready to try 
a fall m the same path. But for the most 
part they will be wilful or unconscious 
imitators. So of America. There, how- 
ever, the novel is somewhat peculiar and 
indigenous. There can be no <}uestion 
about either its reality or patermty: for 
the scenery is made wild and expansive 
enough, and the opinions sufficiently ex« 
travagant; and, like ourselves, the Ameri- 
cmis have a few names who do them hon- 
our. Their libraries, like our own, are 
flooded with trashy ravings in three vol- 
umes courteously called novels ; but their 
literature, like our own, is enriched by 
only a few true novelists. 

Charles Brockden Browne has the merit 
of having been the first to give strength 
and permanency to American fiction, let 
hia works significanUy betray the defects 
cooomon to aU novels humedly written 
for sensational effect. Although his style 
is graphic, he is too often verbose, proux, 
and ludicrously indulgent in hyperbole. 
Periiaps it is enough to say, that deroite 
appalnng disadvantages he contrived to 
produce twenty-four volumes of fiction in 
ten years. In Browne's works, indeed, we 
reckon up, in a manner, the impatience, 
daring, haste, recklessness, and otner con- 
spicuous blemishes of American literature. 
In his " Wieland " we have the delineation 
of passions as they affect ". a mind consti- 
tutionally excitable." This, with his « Or- 



mond," furnishes an ample view of th« 
character and state of transatlantic society 
in his time, and of its tendency at present 
if we allow for occasional wildness and 
eccentricity. In "Edgar Huntly" som- 
nambulism is the theme, as in " Wieland " 
ventriloquism, and in other works of his and 
his countrymen — " spiritualism." " Edgar 
Huntly" IS in fact an apparent effort at 
mental analysis, coloured by the most 
improbable theories and the most daring 
imaginings. But " Arthur Mervyn " is in 
our opinion Browne's most characteristic 
production. It is a well-written story, 
with characters disoriminately and power- 
fully drawn, yet it is withal repellent in 
its sickeninff recital of the fearful days of 
the yellow rever year. 

Between Cooper and Browne there ar« 
few marks of resemblance. Browne aims 
at more exactitude, and prides himself on 
a sort of philosophy which, if not profound, 
is not altogether unsound; Cooper gives 
^er rein to his imagination, and revels 
more in fervid and elaborate description, 
sedulously avoiding the dreary flights of 
fancy so congenial to his compeer. In 
their treatment of Indian life tne differ- 
ence between them is significantly mani- 
fest. In everything Cooper has done 
there is an evidence of ease and some- 
thing of an artist's touch — both peculiari- 
ties foreign to Browne. Hence Cooper's 
portraiture of Indian life and character is 
truer and more finished. Browne has 
seized the deformities. Cooper the roman- 
tic and better side of Inman character; 
and the impression left by Browne is that 
the Indian IS worse than he is in reality; 
by Cooper that he is better and more noble. 
Indeed, it may be noted as Cooper's prima 
characteristic that he never, does and can 
never, fail to describe the scenery, society, 
and life around him ; for his temperament 
and his training alike fitted him for the 
enjoyable task. His spirit was thoroughly 
American, and to his books, more perhaps 
than to any others, we go to seek for all 
that can be rightly termed national. Yet 
Cooper was more of a landscape than a 
portrait painter. And this is not to be 
regretted; not merely because it was the 
secret of his success as a national writer, 
but also because American character has 
even now less peculiarity than has, and 
had the scenery, and t)ie primitive life 
of the aborigines. There are, however, 
some exceptions to this. Leatherstocking 
and Tom Coffm are as immortal as any 
of the renowned personages of fiction. 
Cooper's undiminished popularity in the 
Old World is a certain guarantee of the 



Digitized by 



Googk 



84 



AMERICAN LITERATURE. 



breadth of power and the yaried attrac- 
tavenesB which first won for him the ap- 
plause of readers in eyery land. 

On Hawthorne's old-world narratiyes and 
charming pictures of home life, we regret 
we haye not space here to dwell, for a few 
sentences would conyej but a faint and 
miserable notion of his excellences. Nor 
of Poe's (as a writer of fiction), whose 
tales have — 

'* Much of crime and more of sin 
And horror the soul of the plot " — 

may we now speak, for we must conclude. 
As we have seen, many causes are at 
work to retard the growth of a truly 
national literature in America. But the 
time for it must come. Any delay should 
rather be welcomed than regarded as a 
source of discouragement and hopeless- 
ness. In the words of one of their most 



sensible men, there is both reason and 
comfort. Russell Lowell writes: — **We 
shall haye to be content for a good while 
yet with our proyindalism, and must strive 
to make the oest of it. In it lies the germ 
of nationality, and that is, after all, the 
prime condition of all thoroughbred great- 
ness of character. . . . Should we ever 
attain to a conscious nationality, it will 
have the advantage of lessening the num- 
ber of our great men, and widening our 
appreciation to the larger scale of the two 
or three that are left, if there should be so 
many 1 " Howsoever this may be, one 
feature of the nation's life will always be 
more striking than the rest. Liberty is 
the crowninff glory of that life and the 
vital prindpTe of the literature of the 
country. The Americans claim it as a 
peculiar birthright, and we may admit 
that they are not unworthy of it. 



Spain and thk French Rbvolution.— r San 
Sebastian. How will the rapid march of OTeats 
in France affect Spain? is a question which all 
Spaniards are at present anxiously asking each 
other, but which they find it difficult to answer 
satisfactorily. It is now nearly a year siaoe the 
Federal Republicans in this country rose in arms 
against the GoTemment That the movement 
was th^ popular was shown by its strength as 
regarded numbers, but it was smothered in the 
cradle by the superior force of military disci- 
pline; and sinoe then the fire has been smonl* 
dering and waiting only for a waft of outside 
mipathy to fiui it again into a fiame. Bepub- 
lioanism is, undoubtedly, an important politioal 
idement in Spain, but it has hitherto been weak 
firom int?mal divisions and disagreements on 
minor points between the heads of the party. 
The Republicans were divided into two classes, 
or part^, namely, the Unitarian and the Fed- 
eral Republicans. The Unitarians comprised 
the Progresistas; ibr, although the Progresistas 
called themselves monarchical, it was evident to 
all that in defikult of a monarch they would 
choose a president It was even alleged that 
they, with their leader Prim, were Republioaos 
at heart, but restrained fkt>m putting their ideas 
into practice by the threats of Napoleon and the 
menaoingattitudeof the small but well disciplined 
Carlist party. The Federals, it was asserted, were 
ready to link their fortunes with those of the 
Unitarians, if these would only declare the Re- 
public at once, r^ardless of Napoleonio conse- 
quences; but the Unitarians could not be pre- 



vailed upon to plunge into this course, and thus 
Spain jogg^ on, trusting to chance for a wind- 
fall. The question now is. Will the Spanish 
Republicans consider this an opportune moment 
for action; and, if so, will the Federals adhere 
to their former ideas, or modify them so as to 
meet Unitarian views and obtain their support? 
Should the Federal Republicans rise agam, as 
they did in October last, they must succumb, 
for their organisation is not military, and th^ 
have already had ezperienoe of what this force 
can do in quieting restless spirits. The Carlists, 
however, by their ill-advised agitation, are do- 
ing all they can to rouse the spirit of the Repub- 
licans. The army is being increased, and ex- 
traordinary precautions are taken aX\ over the 
country, specially in the northern provinces; 
but what does it portend? It is difficult to telL 
Rumour says that Prim contemplates a cottp 
d* eiatt but the only importance to be attached to 
this is that it is quite certain that Prim is pre* 
pared to take advantage of any good thin^ that 
may turn up, bat as regards any particular 
coarse you may feel sure that he has none. 
The prevailing opinion is that if the Republicans 
become the party of the present it wiU be be- 
oanse Prim so chooses, and although people 
speak of him contemptuously, all know that he 
has the army with him, and Uiat as loniras he is 
thus supported he will be the man of the day. 
Whether Spain is to be a Republic or not every 
one here feeU confident of one thing, and that is 
that the crisis In France must produce a crisis 
in Spain. PaU Mall Gaaetta 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



85 



CHAPTEB ni. 

Ths next morning came Briisig in good 
season, toeo with Habennann to Pumpel- 
hagen. The young wife sat in the livmg- 
room, and was paying off the work-people ; 
Joohen sat dose by her, and smoked to- 
bacco, — he attended to that business. 
The old peonle were not yet visible, for 
ffrandmother had said to her daughter-in- 
Uiw, she at least could not go out to-day, 
since she had nothing to put on her head ; 
and grandfather had said that merry-mak- 
ing would go on better without him. 

''It is really considerate of the old 
people," said Bnisie, ^ not to spoil our din- 
ner ; for, Madam fussier, I am goi^ to 
stay here to dinner to-day, with Karl. 
But, Karl, we must go. Good-bye, little 
rogues ! " 

As they went through the farm-yard, 
Brisig all of a sudden stood still. ** Just 
see, £iri, doesn't it look like the desert of 
Saiiara? Here a dung-heap and there a 
dung-heap 1 And yet, see, old Jochen has 
had these ditches opened, so that all the 
(firty water can run o£f^ in a body, to the 
village pond. And then the roo& 1 " said 
he, walking on. ^ They have straw enough 
for new roofe, — it is merely that the old 
folks grudge the expense of repairing 
them. I come here properly only from 
two motives, — one relates to my health, 
the other to my heart ; for I find that it 
agrees with me, when I have eaten too 
hearty a dinner, to get comfortably angry, 
and, on accoimt of my heart, I go for the 
sake of your sister and the little rogues, 
since I can be of some assistance to her. For 
yoimg Jochen behaves usually quite too 
much like a wheel on a baggage-wagon, in 
the winter, between here and Kostock. If 
I could but once have him before a cart, 
with three or four on top of the load, and 
then lay on the whip I *^ 

^See," said Habennann, as they went 
through a field, ''they have some fine- 
looking wheat there." 

" Oh, yes, it has a good color ; but what 
do you think they sow here ? Bye 1 And 
why so ? Because old Jochen, for twenty- 
five years, has always had rye in the win- 
ter field." 

''Does this field extend over the hill 
yonder?" 

" No, Karl, the old lynx is not so fat as 
that ; frv lard in butter, and eat it with a 
spoon ! No, Karl, that field over the hill 
happens to be mine." 

« £3i, how one can forget, in a couple of 
years 1 So your land comes thus &r ? " 

"Tes, Karl, for Wamitz stretches out 
[Eiitered acoording to Act of CongreM, in the ymr 1870, by LlttnU h Gf, in the Office ol the lihrtrlsa 

of Congreit at WMhlDcton.] 



finely in length ; on this side it comes to 
this point, and on the other it turns round 
towurd Hannerwiem. But see here, from 
this rising-ground I can show you the 
whole region. Where we stand belongs 
to your brother-in-law, and his land goes 
on tiie right up to my wheat, and on ^e 
left to that little clump of firs, for Rexow 
is quite small. He has also a small field 
on the other side of the hamlet. The land 
to the right, behind my wheat field, also 
belonffs to Wamitz, and before us, where 
the ploughed ground begins, lies Pumpel- 
hagen; and here on the left, behind the 
fir-trees, is Gurlitz." 

" Wamitz is then the largest ? " 

" No, Karl, not ik> either. Pumpelhagen 
has eight lasts more, and is a nrslrc&ss 
estate also in value, — two-and-forty lasts 
natural wheat land. Yes, if the rest were 
all of a piece 1 No, the Kammerrath is a 
good man, and a good countryman; but 
you see, t^ere he sits in Schwerin, and 
cannot trouble himself about Pumpelhagen, 
where he has often had such inspectors! 
And he bought the property in dear times, 
and a crowd of leeches stand ready to 
drain the last drop from his veins; and 
then his lady, the Kammerriithin, rides 
grandly in her carriage visiting and enter- 
taining. But he is the right sort of man, 
and is g6od to his people, and although 
the von Rambows are of old descent, — lor 
my gracious Herr Count often invites him 
to dmner, and he thinks a ffreat deal of 
ancestry, — yet he carries himself quite 
pleasantly and without anyformsdity. 

Habermann had listened attentively to 
this information, for these things might by 
a fortunate chance have some connection 
with his future ; but, interested as he was, 
his thoughts still recurred to his present 
difficulty. "Brisig," said he, "have you 
any idea in your head about my little 
girl?" 

" What wouldn't I do for her, Karl ! But 
— the devil knows I I believe we must af- 
ter all go to the ci^ to Kurzen, the mer- 
chant. She, Fran Kurzen, is a good sort 
of woman, and he — well, he is in the voca- 
tive, like all shop-keepers. Just think, last 
summer the rascal sold me a piece of stuff 
for breeches, for Sunday wear; it was a 
kind of chocolate-colour. And, think, 
when I went one morning in the dew, 
through my clover, they turned up to the 
knee, like a mess of crabs, pure scarlet 1 
And he sent me some Kiimmel, the Prus- 
sian kind, the old sweetnneats, tinkered up 
with all sorts of drops. But I sent it back 
to him affain, with a good scolding; the 
breeches, however, he would not take back. 



Digitized by LjOOQIC 



86 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



and sent me word he didn't wear breeches. 
No, did the rascal think I was going to 
wear red ones! And Karl, see, here at 
the left is Gurlitz. 

"Is that the Gurlitz church-tower?" 
asked Habermann. 

"Yes, Karl,"— and Briisig stood still, 
turned up his nose, sent his eyebrows up 
under his cocked hat, — for he wore a hat 
dn Sundays, — opened his mouth wide, and 
stared at Habermann with a pair of eyes 
which seemed to look him through and 
through, and then lose themselves in the 
distance. 

"Karl I** he cried finally, "since you 
speak of the church-tower, — God bless 
Toul the Gurlitz pastor must take your 
little girl." 

" Pastor Behrens ? " asked Habermann. 

" Yes, Paster Behrens, who was our pri- 
vate instructor at old Krinkstadt's." 

" Ah, Brisisiff, I will confess I have thought 
of it almost ulq whole night, whether that 
would be possible, if I should remain in 
the neighbourhood.'* 

"Possible? He mnstl He would like 
nothing better than to have a little child 
growing up near him, since he himself has 
no children ; and he has rented his farm, 
and now has nothing to do but to read and 
study his books, which it would make an- 
other man turn green and yellow merely 
to look at from a distance. That is what 
he eigoys 1 And she, the Frau Pastorin, is 
so fond of children, that all the girls in the 
village tag after her ; and she is an excel- 
lent, kind-hearted woman, and always 
cheerful, and the best of Mends with your 
sister." 

" Ah, if that might be ! ^ exclaimed Ha- 
bermann. " You and I owe everything to 
that man, Zacharyl Do you rememSer, 
when he was still a candidate, at old 
Ejinkstadt's, how he gave us private 
lessons in the winter evenings, and taught 
us writing and arithmetic, and what a 
firiend he was to us two stupid young- 
sters?" 

"Yes, Earl, and how Zamel Pomuchels- 
kopp used to lie and snore of an evening, 
till the beams shook, while we were in the 
pursuit of learning. Do you remember, in 
the arithmetic, when' we came to the Rule 
of Three, — you seek the fourth unknown 
quantity, and first get the ratio, and then 
it goes 1 In quicimess I was your superior, 
but you were mine in accuracy, and also 
in orthography. But in letter-writing and 
in High-Gferman, then I was better again ; 
and these last I have ever since studied 
diligently, for every man has his favorite 
pursuit. And when I go to see the Pastor, 



I always thank him for his assistance in 
my education; and then he laughs, and 
says he is more indebted to me, because I 
have rented his farm for him, and he is 
now sure of a good contract. He thinks 
something of me, and if you stav here, we 
will go over to him, and you shall see he 
will do it." 

By this time they had arrived at Pnm- 
pelhagen, and Brasig quite impressed 
Habermann by his distinguished manners, 
as he sailed up to the old servant, and in- 
quired if the Herr Kammerrath was at 
nome, and could be spoken with. 

He would announce the gentlemen the 
man said ; wasn't it the &rr Inspector, 
Bras^? 

" les," said Brasig. " Do you see, Karl 
he knows me, and me Heif Kammerrath 
knows me too. And, did you notice? 
regularly announcing usl The nobility 
don't do things meanly. My gracious 
Herr Count always has people announced 
to him by three servants; that is, one 
announces to the other, until the valet 
finally announces to him, and by this 
custom we sometimes have amusing occur- 
rences, — as, the other day, with the kam- 
merj^er. The first announced to the 
second, instead of kammenager, ober- 
jiEiger, and the second added a meister, 
and the third announced to the Herr 
Count an obeijagermeister; and, as my 
gracious Herr Count pre|)ared to receive 
&e strange gentleman with proper cer* 
emony, it was the old rat-catcher Ti- 
baul." 

The servant came back, and led them 
into a spacious room, which was very com- 
fortably but not splendidly furnished. In 
the centre stood a large, plain table, cov- 
ered with papers and accounts. Behiivi 
the table stood, as they entered, a rather 
tall, thin man, who had on his face a 
thoughtful expression, and in his whole 
appearance an air of quiet reflection ; and 
in his dress, although it was quite suited 
to his circumstances, there was the same 
simplicity as in the furnishing of the room. 
He might have been about fifty, and his 
sandy nair was thickly sprinkled with 
gray; also he was evidenUy ouite short* 
sighted, for, as he came around the table 
to receive'the two guests, he reached afier 
an eye-glass, which, however, he did not 
use, but went up dose to his visitors. 
"Ah, Herr Inspector Brasig," said he 
quietly. " What can I do for you ? " 

Uncle Briisig was so put out in his elab- 
orate address, that he could not collect 
himself of a sudden; not to hurry himt 
the Herr Kammerrath looked quite closely 



Digitized by 



Google 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST.* 



87 



at Habennann. «* You want But," he 

interrupted himself; "I ought to know 
you. Wait a moment, — were you not for 
ten or twelve 'years in serrice with my 
brother?" 

** Tes, Herr Kammerrath, and my name 
is Habennann." 

" Right, right ! And to what do I owe 
the pleasure of seeing you here ? " 

**1 have understood that the Herr Kam- 
merrath was looking for an inspector ; and 
as I am in search of such a place " 

" But you have a farm in Pomerania, as I 
think I have heard," interrupted the pro- 
prietor. 

But now it was high time for Brasig, if 
he had anything of importance to say, to 
charge into the midst. <* That he had, 
Herr Kammerrath von Rambow, he had it, 
but the Jews will give nothing for it now. 
He, like many another farmer, got into 
difficulties, and the pitiful meanness and 
baseness of his landlord have ruined him. 
What do you say to that, Herr Kammer- 
rath?" 

Behind the old fellow's back at these 
words sounded a hearty lau^h, and as he 
looked around he saw the bnght face of a 
ten or twelve years* old boy, which seemed 
to say, " Wait a bit, there is more com- 
ing." The Kammerrath also turned his 
face away to laugh a little ; but happily 
for uncle Brasig, it never occurred to him 
that the laughing was from any other 
cause than natural pleasure at his well- 
chosen language. He concluded there- 
fore, quite seriously. ** And so he has gone 
head over heels." 

" I am heartily sorry," said the Kammer^ 
rath ; " Yes," he added with a sigh, " these 
are hard times for the countrymen; but 
we must hope that they will improve. As 
resards your wish, — Axel, go out and see 
if breakfast is ready, — your supposition 
is correct. I have just dismissea my late 
inspector, — I will tell you, because of 
carelessness in his accounts, — and I am 
looking for a suitable man to fill his place. 
But," said he, as his son appeared at the 
door, and announced that breakfast was 
ready, " if you have not yet breakfasted, 
we can arrange the matter best at the 
breakfast-table." 

With that, he went to the door, but 
stood there, and made a motion with his 
hand for them to pass out first. ^ Karl," 
whispered Brasig, "didn't I tell you? 
Just like one of us I " But as Habennann 

guietly passed on, accepting the invitation, 
e threw up his eyebrows, and stretched 
out his hand as if he would draw his 
friend back by the coat-tails, then stood 



with his little twisted legs turned out, 
and bowed like a clasp-knife. 

*' Eh, how could II I beseech you ! 
Herr Kammerrath should always have 
precedence!" And his waiting was not 
of a bad order, for he had a long body and 
short legs, and they betbng properly to 
waiters. 

The Herr Kammerrath had to take him- 
self out of the way of his compliments, 
that the old fellow might not dislocate his 
spine. At the breakfast-table the business 
was discussed and decided; Habermann 
was engaged on a ^ood, sufficient salary, 
which was to be increased every five 
years; and the only condition which the 
Kammerrath insisted upon was that he 
should occupy the place at once. 

The new inspector a^^eed to this, and 
the day was set for his entering on hia 
duties, so that the Kammerrath before his 
departure could go with him about the 
place and tell him what he wanted done ; 
and Brasig having concluded a brief sketch 
of the troubled life-career of the fifteen 
years' old full-blooded Wallach, which he 
had cared for in his business at the farm, 
— how he had "had the honor to know the 
old carrion ever since it was bom ; " how 
the creature in its younger years had been 
" such a colt as you read of in books," but 
afterward " with shyins and spavin and all 
manner of devilish tricks had so disgraced 
himself that he was now punished by be- 
ing harnessed to the dung-cart," — the two 
inspectors took their leave. 

"Brasig," said Habermann, when they 
were outside, "a stone has been taken 
from my heart. Thank God, I shall be 
employed asain 1 And that brings me to 
other th'ouehts. Now for GurlitzT Ah, if 
we may only be as fortunate there I " 

" Yes, Karl, you may well say fortunate ; 
for — don't take it ill of me — you don't 
understand the way of life ana the fine 
etiquette of noble society. How could you 
do- such a thing! How could you go 
through the door before the Herr Kam- 
merrath ? " 

" Brasig, when be invited me I was his 
guest, and he was not yet my master; 
now, I should not do it, and, rely upon it, 
he would not do it either." 

" No, Karl, so I think ; but at the Pas- 
tor's leave the business to me ; there some 
finesse will be needed." 

" Yes, Zachary, gladly. Were it not for 
my poor little girl, I should not have the 
courage to ask so great a favor of any 
man. K you will undertake it for me, I 
shall consider it a real piece of friendship." 

As they came toward the Gurlitz church, 



Digitized by 



Googk 



88 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



they knew by the singing that the service 
was not yet over; and, as they went into 
the Pastor's house, and into the living-room, 
they were met by a little, quick, round 
woman, upwards of forty years of age. 
Everytliing about her was round, — arms 
and hands and fingers, head and cheeks 
and lips ; and the eyes looked so round and 
briffht out of her soft round face, as if the 
eyelids had never been pressed down with 
trouble and sorrow, and such a cheery life 
over flowed from her mien and motions, 
that one believed he could almost see how 
the fresh, red blood throbbed through the 
warm heart. 

*^ Grood-day, Herr Briisig, sit down I Sit 
down, also 1 Yes, that is right, my Pastor 
is still in church ; he would scold well if 
you had gone away. Pray sit down, Herr 
— what shall I call you ? Yes, I would 
gladly have gone to church to-day, but 
just think, last Sunday the Pastor's pew 
was broken in halves. Bless me, now 
every body crowded around, and we 
couldn't say " No." And our old cabinet- 
maker Priisshawer was going to mend it, 
and he is sick with a fever." 

The round little mouth rolled out the 
words as if they were roimd, smooth, white 
billiard balls, which a playful child shoots 
here and there over the sreen cloth. 

Brasig now introduced Habermann as 
the brother of Frau Niissler. 

" You are her brother ? Her brother 
Earl? Now sit down, sit down! How 
glad my Pastor will be I When Frau 
Niissler is here, we always talk about you ; 
something good you mav be sure, — the 
Herr Inspector knows. Bless you, Brasig, 
what are you doing with my hymn-book V 
Let me put the l^ok away! You don't 
want to read it, you are an old heathen. 
Those are funeral-hymns, and what have 
you to do with funersd-hymns ? You will live 
forever ! You are no better than the Wan- 
dering Jew! But, dear heart! one must 
think sometimes about dying, and so, since 
our church-pew is broken, and the old cab- 
inet-maker has a fever, I have been read- 
ing a couple of hymns ' On preparation for 
death.", And with that sne flew roimd 
like quicksilver, and laid the books on one 
side, and whisked off a little dust here and 
there, where none was visible, and rubbed 
and polished about in the room, which was 
as neat as a dressing-box. All at once she 
stood still, listened toward the kitchen and 
cried, <' Just so, I must go and look after 
the soup 1 " and was gone. 

« Didn't I tell you, Karl ? " said Brasig. 
'^ There's a temperament for you! And 
what splendid nealthl Now leave me 



alone ; I will manage it all," and he went 
out after the Frau Pastorin. 

Habermann looked around him in the 
room. How neat and comfortable every- 
thing was, so homelike and so full of peace. 
There hung, above the sofa, a beautiful 
head of Chnst, and around and beneath it 
were the portraits of the parents of the 
Herr Pastor and the Frau Pastorin, and 
their relations, some in colors, some in 
crayon, some large, others small ; and the 
Lord Jesus had ms hands raised in bless- 
ing, and the Frau Pastorin had arranged 
under their shadow all her relations, put- 
ting them the nearest, that they might 
have the best of the blessing. 

Her own picture, painted in early years, 
and that of her Pastor, she had in humilitv 
hung by the window, a little further off; 
but the sun, which looked in through the 
snow-white curtains, and gilded the other 
portraits, touched these two pictures first. 
There was a small book-case full of reli- 
gious and secular books, a little mixed to- 
gether, but still making a fine appearance, 
for they were arranged more with refer- 
ence to their bindings than their contents. 
And if any one supposed, because she 
talked Platt-Deutsch, that she had no ap- 
preciation or em'oyment of High-German 
literature, he needed merely to open a 
book, where a mark lay, and he would find 
that the marked places had been read with 
heart and feeling, — that is to say, if he 
had as much heart and feeling as the Frau 
Pastorin; and, had he opened the cook- 
book, he would have seen that the Frau 
Pastorin was as good a student as the 
Herr Pastor, for she had just like him her 
notes written on the margin, and where 
nothing was written one might understand 
that those were the Herr Pastor's favorite 
recipes, — " And by those," said she, " I 
don t need to make any marks, for I know 
them by heart." 

And here in this peaceful abode, in this 
pretty, comfortable nest, shall Habermann, 
if God in mercy grant it, leave his child to 
pass her early years. These hands of the 
Saviour shall be stretched out in blessing 
over her, this blessed sun shall shine 
upon her, and the noble thoughts, which 
great and eood men have written in books 
for the wond, shall awaken her young soul 
out of childhood's dreams, and give it life 
and joy. 

He was getting very soft-hearted. But, 
as he still sat between hope and fear, the 
Frau Pastorin came in at the door, her 
eyes red with weeping. "Don't say a 
word, Herr Habermann, don't say a word ! 
Brasig has told me everything, and Brasig 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



89 



is an old heathen, but he is a good man, 
and a true friend of jours, — and mv Pas- 
tor thinks just as I do, that I know, for we 
are always one, — and that dear little 
thing 1 God bless you, yesl The old 
Kijsslers are a hard-hearted set," and she 
tapped the floor briskly with her foot. 

** The old woman," said Brifeig, who was 
by this time close beside them, 'Hhe old 
woman is a real horse-leech." 

^ Right, Briisig, she is that, but my Pas- 
tor shall talk the old people into reason ; 
not on account of the little girl, she shall 
come here, or I don't know my old Pastor I " 

While Habermann was expressing his 
heart-felt thanks, her Pastor came in, — 
ahe always called him <* her " Pastor, because 
he was truly hers, body and soul, and her 
^ Pastor," on account of his own dignity, 
and because the title belonged to him from 
bis office. He came bare-headed across the 
church-yard and parsonage-yard, for these 
high soft-hats, which make our good Prot- 
estant ministers look like Russian priests, 
were not then in fetshion, at least not in the 
country ; and, instead of the great ruf^ as 
broad as the white china platter on which 
the daughter of Herodias presents the head 
of John-Baptist to her step-father, he had 
a pair of little innocent bands, which his 
dear wife Regina had, with all Christian 
reverence, stitched, stiffened, pressed and 
tied around his neck with her own hands. 
She held correctly that these little simple 
things were the distinctiye ministerial uni- 
form, and not the little four-cornered cape 
which was worn over the coat-coUar. 
**For," said she, "my dear Fran Niissler, 
our sexton wears just such a little cape, 
but he dare not wear bands ; and when I 
see my Pastor, with the ornaments of his 
office, standing in the chancel, I don't know, 
they seem to me, the two little things, as 
they rise and fall with his words, now one, 
now the other, like a pair of angel-wings, 
on which one might rise directly to Heaven, 
— only my Pastor has his wings in frt>nt, 
and the angels have theirs behind." 

No, he wasn't an angel, this good Pastor 
of hers, and he was the last person to set 
himself up for one. But vrith all the sin- 
cerity that shone from his face, and seemed 
to know no dissimulation, there was such a 
friendly forbearance, such a quiet, kindly 
expression, that one must hold him at the 
first glance for a brave man, and althouffh 
his whole life had been given up to self- 
denyine labor, yet he could — naturally 
after the Frau Pastorin had taken off his 
cape and bands — show in his eyes his jo]^- 
ous heart, and utter innocent jests with ms 
lips ; and, when he put off the ecclesiastic, 



he stood forth as a man who, in worldly 
matters also, could give sensible counsel, 
and reach forth a helping hand. 

As he stepped into the room, he recog- 
nized Habermann immediately, and went 
right up to him. " My dear friend, do I see 
you once morel How are you? Good- 
day, Herr Inspector I " And as Habermann 
returned the greeting, and Brasig began 
to tell the reason of their visit, the Frau 
Pastorin sprang between them, and seised 
her Pastor by his ministerial gown, and 
cried, **Not a word, Herr Habermann; 
Brasig, will you be so good? Tou shall 
know it ail from me," said she to her hus- 
band, " for, though the story is a sad one, 
— yes, Herr Ha^rmann, quite too sad, — 
yet there will be a pleasure for you. 
Come, come 1 " and with that she drew him 
into his study. " For I am the nearest to 
him," she called back from the door, in 
apology. 

After a while the Pastor came back with 
his wife into the room, and went, with a 
determined step and resolved expression 
on his face, up to Habermann. " Yes, dear 
Habermann, yes I We will do it, and, so 
far as in us lies, do it gladly," — and he 

eressed his hand — "but," he added, "we 
ave no experience in the care of children, 
yet we can learn. Isn't it so, Regina, we 
can learn?" as if with this little joke he 
would help Habermann over the deep emo- 
tion which struggled in his face and in his 
whole being. 

»*Herr Pastor," he broke out, finally, 
" Tou have long ago done a great deal for 
me, but this " And the little Frau Pas- 
torin reached after her means of consola- 
tion and implement of all work, which she 
took in hand at every surprise of ioy or 
sorrow, — after her duster, — and dusted 
here and there, and would have wiped away 
Habermann's tears with it, if he had not 
turned aside, and she called out at the door 
after Frederica : " Now, Rika, run quickly 
over to the weaver'&wife, and ask her to 
lend me her cradle, — she doesn't use it,** 
she added, to Brasiff. 

And Brasig, as if it devolved on him to 
sustain the honor of the Habermann family, 
said to her impressively : "Frau Pastorin, 
what are you thinking of? The little girl 
is quite hearty ! " 

And the Frau Pastorin ran again to the 
door, and called back the maiden. " Rika, 
Rika, not the cradle, — ask her to lend me 
a little crib, and then go to the sexton's 
daughter, and see if she can come this af- 
ternoon, — God bless me, tcnlay is Sunday 1 
But if your ass has fallen into a pit, and so 
forth, — yes, ask her whether she can help 



Digitized by 



Googk 



90 



SBED-TIMB AND HARVEST. 



me staff a ootrple of little beds. For it is 
uot heathenisn, Biiisig, it is a work of ne- 
cessity, and quite another thing from your 
Herr Count naving his wheat brought in 
Sunday afternoon. And, my dear Herr 
Habermann, the little girl must come to us 
to-day, for Franz," said she to her husband, 
** the old Niisslers would not ^ve the poor 
little thing even her dinner if they could 
help it, and, Brasig, bread which is not 

freely given " here she was a little out 

of breath and Brasig went on : ♦♦ Yes, Frau 
Pastorin, one majr grow fat on grudged 
bread, but the devil take such fatness 1 *' 

^ You old heathen, how can you swear 
so, in a Christian Pastor's house ? " cried 
the Frau Pastorin. **But the long and 
the short of the matter is, the little girl 
must come here to^ay." 

*• Yes, Frau Pastorin," said Habermann, 
only too happy, ^ I will bring her to-day. 
My poor sister will be sorry, but it is bet- 
ter K)r her, and for the peace of her family, 
and also for my child." 

He went up to the two worthy people, 
and thanked them so warmly, from the 
depths of his grateful heart; and when 
they had taken leave, and were outside, he 
drew a long breath, and said to Bnisig, 
** How gloomy the world looked this morn- 
ing, but now the sun shines in my heart 
again 1 I have yet a disagreeable business 
to attend to ; but it is a lucky day, and 
that may ao well also." 

" What have you got to do now ? " asked 
BrSsig. 

** I must go to Rahnstadt, to old Moses. 
I gave him, six months ago, my note for 
six hundred dollars; I have not heard 
fr^m him since my bankruptcy, and I 
must try te make some arrangement with 
him." 

'* That you must, Karl ; and I would do 
it at once, for old Moses isn't the worst 
man in the world, by a long way. Now I 
will tell you what shall be our order of 
battle for to-day : we will both go back to 
Bezow, and eat our dinner ; after dinner 
young Jochen must lend you his horses, 
and you can take your little one to Gurlitz ; 
^o from there to the city, and come back 
m the evening to me, at Wamitz, and stay 
over night; and to-morrow you can go 
over to Pumpelhagen, since the Herr 
Kammerrath depends on your speedy 
coming." 

<< Right," said Habermann, « it shall be 

BO." 

They arrived, the dinner was eaten, and 
Brasig asked of yoxmg Jochen the loan of 
his wagon and horses. ** Of course," cried 
Fna Niissler, — <*Ye8, of coarse," said 



Jochen, and went out himself immedi* 
ately, to order the horses harnessed. 

<*Karl," said the sister, ^ my dear broth- 
er, how glad, how heartily glad, I should 

be, if But you know the reason; Brti- 

sig has told you. But, dear heart, if one 
could only keep peace in the family 1 
Don't believe that Jochen thinks different- 
ly from me, only he hasn't the energy to 
stand up for his rights. But I will look 
after your child as if she were my own, 
though it will not be needful at the Par- 
sonage." 

The wagon drove up. **What the 
devil! " cried Bi^isig, **youn|f Jochen, you 
have got out your state-eqmpage, the old 
yellow coach I " 

^ Yes, Herr," said Christian, who sat up 
in front. *<May we only get safe home 
again with the old thing, for it is fearfully 
crazy in the box, and the wheels datter as 
if one were spinning flax." 

^Christian," said Brasig, ''you must 
first drive a little way through we village 
pond, and then through the Gurlitz brook; 
and then, before you set to Rahnstadt, 
though the frog-pond. That will tighten 
the wheels." 

«<£hl" said Christian; ''one might as 
well go a seaHvoyage 1 " 

As Habermann had taken leave, and put 
his little girl in the wagon, young Jochen 
pressed out through the company in such 
haste that all made way for him, and his 
wife cried out, ** What is the matter now ? " 
'* There," said he and placed in the hand of 
the little Louise a pound of Fleigen 
Markur, for he nnoked!^no other tobacco ; 
but it was only in outward appearance, 
for, as Habermann looked closer, he found 
a great piece of white bread, which young 
Jochen had merely wrapped up in tobac* 
co^aper, because he had nothmg else at 
hand. 

The equipage started. Christian took 
the pond and the brook on his way, as 
Briisig had recommended; the little one 
was given up at Gurlitz, and I will not 
try to describe how the pretty little dear 
was handed from one to the other, with 
kisses and petting, and seemed in her un- 
comprehenoing innocence to find herself 
at home with the good people. Haber- 
mann drove on Rahnstadt, to see Moses. 

Moses was a man of about fifty* 
He had large, wise4ooking eyies, under 
strong, bli^k eyebrows, although his 
head was nearly white; heavy eyelids 
and daik lashes gave him an aspect 
of mildness ; he was of middle size ana of 
oomfortable ftdness ; his left shoulder was 
a little higgler than his right, and that was 



Digitized by 



Googk 



8EBD-TIME AND HARVEST. 



91 



in conseqiience of his gtm. When he got 
up from his stool, he stuck his left hanain 
his left coat pocket, and took hold of las 
breeches on the left side, which was al- 
ways slipping down ; for he wore but one 
suspender, and that was on the right side. 
*' What's the use ? " said he to his Blum- 
chen, when she would persuade him to 
wear a second suspender. ^ When I was 
young and poor and had no money, I man- 
aged my business with one suspender, and 
courted my Bliimchen with one su&pender ; 
and now that I am old and rich, and have 
money, and have BlUmchen, why do I 
need two suspenders?" And then he 
would pat his Bliimchen, give a grip at 
the left coat-pocket, and go back to las 
business. 

As Habermann entered he sprang up. 
^O heavens I it is Habermann. Haven't 
I always told you," turning to his son, 
^Habermann is good, Habermann is an 
honest man?" 

^ Yes, Moses," said Habermann, "honest 
truly, — but " 

" Stand up, David, give the seat to Herr 
Habermann; sit here by me. Herr Ha- 
bermann has something to say to me, 
and I have something to say to Herr Ha- 
bermann. Do you see? " he added to his 
son, ** David, what did you say? * I should 
declare myself before the Prussian Jus- 
tice.' What did I say? * I will not declare 
myself before the IVussian Justice ; Herr 
Habermann is an honorable man.' I 
declared myself once, it was in a business 
with a Prussian candidate. I had remind- 
ed the fellow of his debt, and he wrote me 
a letter, saying I should read a verse out 
of tJie Christian hymn-book, — David, 
what was it?" 

*'It was an infSEunous verse," said 
David. 

<*' Moaes cannot accuse me. 

My oonscience knows no fears. 
For He who has pronounced me f^ 
Will pay all my arrears.* " 

'* Yes," cried Moses, "that was what he 
said. And when I showed the letter, the 
Prussian Justice laughed, and when I 
ahowed my note, he bugged Ids shoul- 
ders and laughed again. <Ha, Hal I 
Baid, you mean the paper is good, but the 
fellow is good for nothing.' Then they 
•aid I had the right on my side. I could 
have him locked up, but it would cost 
something. * Do vou take me for a fool? 
■honld I pay the tees and costs and sumr 
mens, and the whole lawsuit, merely to 
give that swine his fodder? Let him 
lunl' said L No, Herr Habermann is 



better for me than the Prussian Jus- 
tice." 

^Yes, that is all very good, Moses," 
said Habermann, anxiously, ^but I can^ 
pay you, at least not at present." 

**No?" said Moses, and looked at him 
in a questioning way. **You must have 
kept something over ? " 

**Not a red shilling," said the farmer 
with emotion. 

" Thou just Heaven I " cried Moses, " not 
a red shilling!" and he sprang up and 
began ordering his son about. <* David, 
what are you etanding there ifor? What 
are you looking at ? Why are you listen- 
ing? Go and bring my bookl" With 
that he began to walk restlessly up and 
down the room. 

"Moses," said Habermann, "only give 
me time, and you shall have principal and 
interest to the last farthing." 

Moses stood still, and listened with 
deep attention. " Habermann," said he at 
last, in Platt-Deutsch, — for these old- 
fashioned Jews, when anvthiug goes to the 
heart, talk Platt-Deutsch, just like Chris- 
tians, — "Habermann, you are an honora- 
ble man." And as David came back with 
the book, the old man said, " David, what 
do we want of the book ? Take the book 
away. Now, what is it?" turning to 
Habermann. " I began with nothing, you 
also began with nothing, I had my busi- 
ness, vou had yours, I h^ good luck, you 
had oad lucL I was industrious, you 
were industrious too, and you understood 
your business. What we can't do to-day 
may be done to-morrow ; to-morrow you 
may again have a situation, and then you 
can pay me, for you are an honest 
man." 

"A situation?" said Habermann, with 
a much lighter heart, " I have that already, 
and a good one, too." 

" Where ? " asked Moses. 

"With the Kammerrath, at Pumpel- 
hagen." 

"Good, Habermann, good! He is a 
good man. Though he has had some ex- 
perience of the hard times, he is yet a 
good man ; he does no business with me, 
but he is a good man, for all that. Bliim- 
chen 1 " he cried at the door, " Herr Haber- 
mann is here. Bring in two cups of cof- 
fee 1 " and as Habermann would have de- 
clined the cofiee, he added, "Allow me, 
Herr Habermann, allow mel When I 
was young, and went about the country 
with my pack, and it was cold weather, 
your mother has often given me a hot cup 
of coffee ; when you were inspector you 
have given me many a ride for nothing. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



92 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



No, we are all human beings. Drink t 
Herr Habermann, drink ! " | 

So this business also came out right, 
and as Habermann went back to Brasig 
that evening his heart was lighter, much 
lighter; and, as he that evening in bed 
thought over the events of the day, the 
thought came to him whether a beloved 
voice had not prayed for him, up above, ' 
and whether a beloved hand had not 
smoothed out the tangled skein of his 
future, that it might run henceforth with 
a clear thread. ' 

The next morning he reported himself j 
at Pumpelhagen ; and when the Kammer- ; 
rath and his little son rode away, two' 
days after, he found himself already ac-i 
quainted with his new duties, and in full 
activity. And so he remained in quiet, 
content for many years. Grief had with- 
drawn, and the joy he had was of the kind 
that a man does not enjoy alone, which he 
must share with his fellow-men. 

CHAPTEB IV. 

In the field by the mill there was 
wheat again this year, as in the year in 
which Habermann took charge of the 
estate. The property was divided into 
eleven fields ; and eleven years had passed 
since that time. The inspector came out 
of the church, for it was Sunday, and he 
had been to hear the Pastor's sermon, 
and to visit his little daughter. He went 
on foot along the path from the church, 
for the way was short, and the day was 
fine, the finest of midsummer weather; 
he went through his wheat-field, and one 
of the purest joys came over him, this, 
that one sees the visible blessing of God 
on what in human hope, but also in human 
uncertainty, his hands have sown. He 
was not enriched by the blessing, — that 
belonged to his master ; but the joy was 
his, and it made his heart light and his 
mind clear, and in the clear mind, joyous 
thoughts darted, like fish in a limpid 
brook. He whistled a merry tune to him- 
self, and almost laughed when he heard 
his own whistling, for such an outburst of 
mirth rarely happened to him. 

" So," said he, ** this is the eleventh year 
I have been over that field, and the worst 
is over; yet once more ! then the oversee- 
ing shall be done by other eves." 

He took the way through the garden, 
which lay on high ground, and joined a lit- 
tle grove of oaks and beeches, where the 
drive and foot-path had been freshly 
cleared and raked out, for the Kammer- 
rath and his family were coming to-day, 
and had sent word that they might be ez- 



Eected by the middle of the afternoon. As 
e came up the ascent he stood still and 
looked back over the wheat-field, and 
laughed to himself. '* Yes, it doesn't look 
much as it did eleven years ago, when I 
let them mow it. This is something like t 
This time we have had a better year. 
What will the old Herr say? Between 
now and harvest, there is some time yet, 
but the rape is now as good as sure. If 
he only hasn't sold it all beforehand, 
again!" sighed he. '' The cuckoo knows 1 " 
and he recced the simis which had been 
borrowed during these eleven long years. 
" The old Herr will go nafarther, and will 
go no farther ; but, God bless him, ther6 
are his five daughters, and two sons-in-law 
who drain him, and then the gracious lady, 
who believes because money is round that 
it must run away, and then the son — it 
must be very expensive in the I^russian 
cuirassiers 1 Yes, the times are better 
than they were in my day ; but if a man 
once gets into a ti^ht place — it is hard, 
and he looks too old altogether." 

He had time to spare. To-day they 
were waiting dinner for the HerrKammer- 
rath, although he had not given orders to 
that effect. "It was proper to do so," 
Habermann had Raid. " x es," said he once 
more, and seated himself in ^e cool shade, 
** he will rejoice over the wheat, and it will 
be a help to him, for it is worth something, 
and times are better than they were." 

Yes, the times were tight again, for what 
are "the times," for the North German 
people, and for all mankind, but long. Ions 
threads stretched far out over England 
and America and all the world, and knot- 
ted at the ends, and so managed that they 
lie sometimes quite slack, and whatever is 
fastened to them, — and that is for our 
people almost the whole country — cannot 
move itself; and then again they are 
stretched tight, so that everything dances 
merrily back and forth, and all are shifted 
about, even in the remotest corners. 

In this little corner of the world also, 
the thread was stretched tight, and young 
Jochen's porcelain pipe-bowl, and leaden 
tinder box, and his blue-painted corner^ 
cupboard, and the waxed sofa, were all 
cleared out of the house, and the old crazy 
yellow coach out of the carriage-house; 
and in their place he had a meerschaum 
pipe adorned with silver, and a mahogany 
secretary, and an immense creature of a 
divan, in the living-room, and in the caiw 
riage-house there was a vehicle which Br&- 
siff always called the " phantom," because 
in looking at the bill he had taken an " e " 
for an "n," and an " n" for an "m : " and 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



he was not for wrong, for the thing was 
ahnost of the kind one sees in a dream. 

And the same thread had also guided 
the hand of Brasig's Herr Count, so that 
finally, after almost twenty years, he had 
given him in writing the desired permis- 
sion to marry, and also a bond promising 
**a suitable pension for his old age." 

And upon this thread, when it was 
Black, the little Fran Pastorin had caught 
herself^ like a top which the boys rig up, 
and now that it was stretched she buzzed 
about her Pastor, and hummed daily in his 
ears ; when the minister's meadow should 
be rented again, it would bring as good as 
double. And as Moses, at the close of the 
last year, added up his sum-total, and 
wrote underneath a little one and four 
great ciphers, the thread caught him by 
the arm, and the four ciphers changed to 
six. ** David, lay the book away,^ said 
be, ** it balances." 

But while these threads, as to how far 
apart the knots are, and how lightly they 
are stretched, are governed a good deal by 
human instrumentality, — even although 
the Lord is above, and superintends the 
whole, so that the slack-lying and the 
tight-stretching happen in moderation, 
and mankind are not left to lie still on a 
liillook and stick there, or set tangled and 
run wildly together, as when a sack full 
of peas is shidken about, — a single human 
being has as much volition on these 
threads as the chafer has on his, when the 
children play with it ; it can buzz about, 
here and there. Another thread, however, 
governs the world: it reaches from the 
highest to the lowest, and Grod himself has 
fiistened the ends ; no chafers buzz on it, 
nor is it in any sense a game. This thread 
was twisted a little, and Zachary Briisig 
got a touch of the sout. It was stretched 
a little tighter, and the two old Niisslers 
lay on their last couch ; and then the knots 
at their end of the thread were cut, and 
ihev were buried. 

Zachary BrSsig, indeed, scolded and fret- 
ted terribly when he felt the twitching, 
and in his ignorance did not understand, 
but blamed the new fashion of sewed 
dress-boots, and the damp, cold spring, 
ibr what he should have laia to the account 
of lus hearty dinners and his usual little 
drop of KihnmeL He was snappish as a 
horse-fly, and Habermann woula rally him, 
whenever he visited him in such a temper, 
about the writing in his possession which 
he had received from the Herr Count, 
granting him penmssion to marry and a 
pension, and then Brasie would be angry, 
terribly angry, and would say, ** Now just 



think, brother, in what an outrageous di- 
lemma that paper of the gracious Count 
places me 1 If I want to marry, then says 
my gracious Count I am too young to 
need a pension, and if I ask for the pen- 
sion, then I tnust say to myself, I am too 
old to marry 1 Oh 1 my gracious Count is 
not much better after all than a regular 
Jesuit; he says the words and you see 
them under your eyes, but virtually he has 
put all sorts of mocking paragraphs in the 
paper, that a man who for eight and twenty 
years has worn out his bones in his service 
cannot request a pension without depre- 
ciating himself personally, or that a man 
who could have had three brides twenty 
years ago, now that he is fifty vears old 
cannot marry one. Oh, I laugh at the 
gracious paragraphs and at the gracious 
Count 1" 

One man's owl is another man's ^night- 
ingale. Brasis was spiteful over the 
twitching of the thread ; but in young 
Jochen's house, after the knots were cut a 
ffuest entered, whom the young wife in- 
deed had many times invited at the door, 
but who had never before crossed the 
threshold, and that was peace. Now he 
had established himself comfortablv on the 
new divan, and ruled over the whole es- 
tablishment. The young woman cared fbr 
him, as if her nearest relative had come to 
the house, and the two little twin-apples 
did everything to please him, and youns 
Jochen himself invited the ffuest in, and 
said it was all as true as leather, and did 
his duty as the head of the family. He 
continued to be monosyllabic, to be sure, 
and desired no other tobacco than Fleigen 
Markur, and did not trouble himself about 
the oversight of the farm. For, after the 
death of the old people, Habermann and 
Brasig had taken the charge of out-door 
affisurs quite out of his hands, and had 
changea the crops, and had introduced 
improvements, and because the old people 
had stowed away under the pillows, and 
in the stocking-box, and about the stove, 
and here and were in other places, many 
a bag of gold which they had forgotten to 
take with them, the business went very 
quickly and without much ceremony ; and 
as it was all dispatched young Jochen 
said, ** Tes, what shall I do about it ? " and 
let thines take their course. 

But uie comfort and prosperity which 
surrounded him roused him up a good 
deal, and his natural kind-heartedness, 
which had so long been repressed by the 
avarice of the old people, became evident ; 
and, if he was a little rough about the head, 
it was no matter, — as the schoolmaster 



Digitized by 



Googk 



94 



SBBD-TIME AND HARYBST. 



-with the red Test said at the fVuieral : ** It 
is no matter, Herr Pastor, since the heart 
is not bad ! " 

And how was it now with the Fran Paa- 
torin and her Pastor? There the Lord 
had touched the thread very lightly; he 
had done like young Jochen, he had said : 
^ What shall I do about it ; let things take 
their course ! " And if the Pastor now and 
then perceired a little light touch on his 
arm, and looked around, it was only his 
little friendly wife who stood behind him, 
always with her dusting cloth, and polished 
away at las arm-chair, and asked whether 
he would have the perch firied or boiled ; 
and if his sermon happened to be about 
Peter's wonderM draught of fishes, or 
the evaneelist's story of the meal of fish 
on the shore, then all sorts of foolish, un- 
christian thoughts would dart across his 
mind, of firied fish, and horse-radish, and 
butter to eat on it, so that he had some 
trouble in going on with his sermon, and 
sustaining the disnity of his office. But 
what were these little troubles, to which 
his Regina had accustomed him from the 
first, in comparison with his great joy ? 

God bless me I I have just received 
from my friend the gardener, Juhlke, of 
Erfurt, a beautiful lify-bulb ; and now in 
the March sun the first leaves are sprout- 
ing, and my first thought in the morning 
is to see how much the leaves have 
sprouted during the night ; and I give it a 
little pull to find out how the roots are 
striking, and I move it away from the 
cool window to the warm stove, and back 
from the dark stove to the light window, 
in the blessed sunshine, and it is as yet 
only a green shoot springing out of the 
earth, with no sign of a fiower-bud, and it 
is but a plant, and not a human life, and 
yet howl rejoice over its sprouting and 
growth and greenness 1 And the pastor 
had received also a beautiful lily-bulb 
firom his friend the Grardener, the llord in 
heaven, and he and his little wife had 
tended and watched it, and now a flower- 
bud was growing, a human flower-bud, and 
the warm May sun shone upon it, and the 
Frau Pastorin ran to her darling the first 
thing in the morning, and buzzed about 
her at noon, and rejoiced over her healthy 
appetite, and heaped another spoonful on 
her plate ; "* For,'' said she, ** life must have 
something to live on." And at evening, 
under the lindens before the door, she 
wrapped the little maiden under the same 
sheltering mantle with herself on the side 
toward the warmth ; and when it was bed- 
time, then she gave her a good-night kiss : 
** God bless you, my daughter *, tomorrow 



morning eaiiy, at five o'clock, you most be 
up again 1 " 

And the Pastor's first thought was also 
of her ; and he watched and waited as leaf 
after leaf was growing green, and gave 
her a prop at her side, and bound her to 
it that she might grow ri^ht up toward 
heaven, and kept away all weeds and nox- 
ious insects. And when he went to bed at 
nieht he would say, as full of hope as a 
chdd, << Regina, she must blossom soon." 

And so it came about, without the con- 
sciousness of the dear old people, or of 
the child herself that she became the 
angel of the household, about whom 
everything turned, turned joyfully, without 
grumbling or snarling, without clashing or 
force. As she in her simple dress, with a 
little silk handkerchief tied around her 
neck, her fresh cheeks, and unbound, 
floating hair, went dancing up and down 
in her glee, she was a living spring of joy 
to the whole house ; and when she sat still 
beside her foster-father, and learned, and 
looked at him with her great eyes, as if 
there must be something still more beauti- 
ful to come, and at last with a deep sigh 
closed the book, as if it were a pity tluit 
it was all done, and vet at the same time 
good that it was all done, because the lit- 
Ue heart could hold no more, — then the 
Frau Pastorin stole up behind her, in stock- 
ing feet, with her dusting-doth under her 
apron, and her slippers lying at the door. 
''For," said she, ^ teaching children is a 
difierent thing from making sermons ; the 
old people are only afifected now and then 
when one hits them right hard with hell- 
torments; but a ohild^ soul, — one must 
touch that merely with a tulip-stalk, and 
not with a fenoe-pole 1 " 
^ Habermann's httle daughter was always 
fair, but she looked the fairest when, a 
step in advance, she held her fSsither by 
the hand, and brought him into the par- 
sonage yard, where ihi good people sat 
under the great linden; then shone out 
all the virtues which usually sleep quietly 
in the human heart, and only now and 
then come to the light of day, — love and 
gratitude, joy and pride, — from her 
sprightly face ; and, if Uabermann walked 
beside her silent and half-sad that he 
could do so little for his child, one could 
read in her eyes a sort of festal joy, as if 
she thought to discharge 'all the debt of 
gratitude which she ow^ her good foster- 
parents, by bringing to them her father. 
She was just entering her thirteenth year, 
and her young heart took no reckoning of 
her feelings and actions, never in her life 
had she asked herself why her father was 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SBEIMTIMB AND HARTBST. 



95 



80 dear to her. It was otherwise with the 
Pastor and his wife, there she was daily 
conscious how kind and sood were their 
intentions toward her, ana she had daily 
opportunities of repaying their lore by 
little acts of duty and mendliness. But 
here — she knew merely it was her fother ; 
he spoke often to her words that must 
come from hia heart, and he looked at her 
with such quiet, sad looks, that must go to 
h'er heart. Reckoning up all they had 
done, these good people had deserved 
more from her ; but yet — the Lord must 
have knit these human threads very closely 
together, up above, they run into each 
other so, and cannot be separated. 

To-day, as Habermann sat in the cool 
shade, it had been again a festival day for 
his child, and it was one for him also. He 
overlooked the whole region. The spring 
was over, the summer sun shone warm 
through the liffht, fleecy clouds; a light 
breeze cooled the air, and lifted the green 
com into the sunlieht, as if the earth were 
waving a green, suken banner before her 
commander, the sun. The regimental mur 
sic, frx>m the band of a thousand birds, 
had ceased with the ^ring, and only the 
cuckoo's cry and the call of the quail still 
echoed, as uf a puff of wind bore with it out 
of the distance the sound of drums and 
cymbals. But instead of music and sing- 
ing the wind brought over the fields a 
sweet odor which came indeed from a 
field of slaughter, where thousands and 
thousands of slain lay in rows and heaps, 
who knew nothing of bloody misery, how- 
ever, and were a pleasure to mankind : the 
hay-4iarvest had begun, and Habermann 
sat on the hill in the cool arbor, and over^ 
looked the fields, fiir and near. How 
beautiful is such a region, where the fields 
in a thousand sreen and yellow stripes 
and bands stret<m to the summits of the 
hills, and shine &lt around like a many- 
colored garment which industry has woven 
for the earth 1 But it seems restless and 
anxious, when we tear the turf and the 
soil with digging and scratching, and 
every one has his own task, and troubles 
himself solely about the miserable profits 
he is to dig from his own little piece of 
earth, — and all these green and yellow 
bands and stripes onlv bear witness to our 
poverty. I know well it is not so, but it 
seems so. Here it is otherwise : far out to 
the blue forest extend the fields, of one 
kind of grain ; the rape fields stretch them- 
selves out like a great sea in the golden 
morning sunlight; broad pastures and 
dopes harbor the brightKsolored cattle, 
ana over the green meiMlows stretch in. an 



oblique directi<Mi the long rows of mowers 
in wnite shirtsleeves ; everything is of a 
piece, all works together; and wherever 
one casts his eyes, he sees rest and security 
as the result of riches. I know right weU 
it is not so, but vet it seems so. But that 
is an afterthought. The eye sees merely 
the riches and the rest, and these, in the 
cool shade, with the humming of bees and 
the playing of butterflies, sink softly into 
the heart. 

So was it tOHlay with Habermann ; he 
was in such a quiet, happy mood, and 
thankfully he thought over the last eleven 
years. All was ^ood and growing better. 
He had paid his debto to Braaig and 
Moses, with his employer he stood on the 
best footing. His intercourse with him 
was almost confidential, for, although the 
Kammerrath was not at all in the habit of 
discussing his private afiairs with every 
body, Habermann's behavior was so per- 
fectly sure, he knew so exactly how to 
keep himself in his place, that the Kam- 
merrath often talked over matters with 
him, which pertained more to himself than 
to the farm ; of his family afbirs, however, 
he had never spoken. It was to happen 
otherwise to-day. 

When the inspector had been sitting a 
little while, he heard a couple of carriages 
drive up before the door. '* Good heavens, 
they are coming 1" he cried, and sprang 
up to go and receive the company. 

The Kammerrath came with his wife and 
three daughters and his son ; they were to 
stay six weeks on the estate, and enjoy the 
country air. "Dear Herr Habermann," 
said he, " we have come upon you a little 
sooner than yon expected, out my business 
at Rostock was dispatched more quickly 
than I believed possible. How is it here ? 
£i everything prepared for the ladies ? ** 

*< All is in readiness," said Habermann, * 
"but I fear the dinner may be a little 
late." 

« No misfortune 1 The ladies can be mak- 
ing their tinlet meantime, and you can 
sb^w me our wheat. And," turning to his 
son who stood at his side, a stately young 
man, in handsome uniform, "you can take 
vour mother and sisters into the garden, 
oy and by, for in matters of domestic 
economy," here he made a sickly attenmt 
to laugh a little, " you take no interest.'^ 

" Dear fiither,! ^"said the son, rather 

uneasily. 

" No, let it go, my son," said the father, 
in a friendly tone. " C<nne, Herr Haber- 
mann, the wheat stands close J^ehind the 
garden." 

Habermum went with him. How old 



Digitized by 



Google 



96 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



the man had become in bo short a time 1 
And it was not age merely which seemed 
to weigh upon hun, he seemed oppressed 
by some other burden. As he caught 
sight of his wheat, he became a little en- 
livened, and cried, '* Beautiful, beautiful 1 1 
I never thought to have seen such wheat 
in Pumpelhagen.' 

That pleased Habermann, but, as is the 
way with these old inspectors, he did not 
let it be noticed, and because he was 
laughinff inwardly, he scratched his head 
and said, " If we can make sure of this on 
the hill, and it will be worth a good deal, 
and that down there by the meadow, the 
devil may have his game with the rest." 

" We cannot prevent what may still hap- 
pen," said the Kammerrath. <*It is a real 
Sleasure that you have given me to-day, 
ear Herr Inspector. Ah," added he, after 
a little while, ** why didn't we know each 
other twenty years affo? It would have 
been better for you and for me 1 " 

Habermann no longer scratched his 
head; the trace of humor, which some- 
times lightened his serious disposition, was 
gone, and he looked anxiously at his mas- 
ter. They had come to the boundary of 
Gurlitz. **The wheat over there doesn't 
look so well as ours," said the Kammer- 
rath. 

<* No," said Habermann. << The soil is 
quite as good as ours, however ; that is the 
Gurlitz Pastor's field, but he has not re- 
ceived his due for it." 

** Apropos," went on the Kammerrath, 
''do you know that Gurlitz is sold? A 
few days aso it was sold in Rostock for 
173,000 thalers. Farms are rising, isn't it 
it so, Habermann, farms are rising consid- 
erably. If Gurlitz is worth 173,000 
thalers, Pumpelhagen would be a good 
bargain at 240,000 thalers;" and with 
that, he looked impressively at Haber- 
mann. 

<< That it would, Herr Kammerrath ; but 
the sale of Gurlitz means something else 
for you; by contract, the Pastor's field falls 
out of the estate, upon its sale, and it runs 
like a wedge into our land,— yon must 
rent the Pastor's field ! " 

^ Ah, dear Habermann, dont talk of my 
rentin|^!" cried the Kammerrath, and 
turned about, and went slowly back, as if 
he might not look at the beautiful piece of 
la^d, ''I have already too much on my 
Moulders. I have no desire for new 
trouble." 

^ You should have no trouble about it. 
If you will give me authority, I will 
arrange the matter wiUi the Herr Pastor." 

<' No, no, Habermann, it won't do 1 The 



expenditure, the advance of rent, the in- 
creased inventory 1 I have besides so 
many expenditures, my hair standi on 
end!" and with that the man move! so 
wearily up the ascent, and stumbled so at 
at every stone, that Habermann sprang 
toward him, and ofiered him his arm ; 
close by the garden the Elammerrath had 
an attack of dizziness, so that Habermann 
was obliged to hold him up, and could 
scarcely get him into the arbor. Here, 
in the cool shade, he soon recovered from. 
his attack; but his appearance was so 
altered that the inspector in this weak- 
spirit^ broken man could hardlv recog- 
mze his tranquil, decided friend of former 
years. The man became talkative, it 
seemed as if he must unburden his heart. 
<* Dear Habermann," said he, and grasped 
his hand, <'I have a favor to ask; my 
nephew Franz, — you used to know him, 
— ^nas finished his studies, and is going to 
undertake the care of his two estates. 
He will follow my advice, — my deceased 
brother appointed me his guardian, — he 
means to become a practical farmer, and I 
have recommended yon to him as Ms in- 
structor. You must take the youn;; man 
here, he is an intelligent youth, — he is a 
good fellow." 

** Yes," said Habermann. That he would 
do gladly, and so far as in him lay it 
should not fail ; he had known the voun^ 
man firom a child, he was always a autiful 
boy. 

"Ah," cried the Kammerrath, "if my 
own boy had gone the same way ! Why 
was I weak enough to yield to my wife 
against my better judgment? Nothng 
would do but he must be a soldier. But 
now it comes, now it comes, my old friend, 
we have got into debt, deeper than I can 
tell, for I see by his oppressed and shy 
manner, that he has not confessed all to 
me. K he would only do so, then I could 
know where I stood, and I could save him 
out of the hands of usurers. And if I 
mvself should fidl into those hands ! " he 
added gloomily, after a little, in a weak 
voice. 

Habermann was frightened bv the 
words and the tone, but still more by the 
appearance of his master. "It will not 
be so bad as that," he said, fbr he must say 
something, "and then the Herr will yet 
have the receipts from about fifteen hun- 
dred bushels of rape ; for so I redcon the 
crop." 

"And for seventeen hundred bushels, 
which I have sold, I have already received 
the money, and it is already paid out; but 
that is not the worst, we oould get over 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SKED-TIMK AND HARVEST. 



97 



that. Ah, what a torment 1 ** cried he, aa if 
he must shoulder his burden a^ain. '' My 
business at Rostock is not all wound up, as 
I said to you before my family ; I have taken 
a debt for one of my sons-in-law, of seven 
thousand thalers, and cannot raise the 
money in Rostock, and in three days it must 
be paid. The money is promised to the pur- 
chaser of Gurlitz, and he is to pay the pur- 
chase money day after to-morrow. Give 
me your aavice, old friend 1 You have 
been in similar circumstances, you know 
how you helped yourself — don't take it 
ill of me 1 you were always an honest 
man. But I cannot bear not to feel sure 
in my possessions or in my honourable 
name." 

Yes, Habermann had been in such a 
condition, and he had failed for a couple 
of hundred thalers; and this was seven 
thousand. 

** Have you spoken with the purchaser 
of Gurlitz / " he asked, after some thought. 

*• Yes," was the reply, " and I told him 
the plain truth about my difficulties." 

"And what was the answer?" said 
Habermann. " But I can imagine, he was 
in pressing need of money himself" 

" It was not that, as it seemed to me ; 
but the man seemed to have a spite against 
me, he was too short and abrupt, and 
when he noticed my embarrassment his 
offers were too crafty, so that I broke 
off the negotiation, because I still hoped 
to procure the money elsewhere. But 
that is at an end, and I find myself more 
embarrassed than ever." 

** I know of but one immediate resource," 
said Habermann, "you must go and see 
Moses, at Rahnstadt." 

"The Jew money-lender?" asked the 
Eammerrath. " Never in the world I " 
cried he. "I- could not bear to feel my- 
self in such hands. No, I will rather bear 
^e insolence of Herr Pomuchelskopp." 

"Who?" shouted Habermann, as if a 
wasp had stung him. 

"Why, the purchaser of Gurlitz, of 
whom we were speaking," said the Kam- 
inerrath, and stared at him as if he could 
not interpret his behavior. 

"And he is a Pomeranian, from the 
region on the Peene, short and stout, with 
a Sill face ? " 

" Yes," said the Eammerrath. 

" And he is going to be our neighbor ? 
And you would enter into business rela- 
tions with him? No, no, Herr Kammer- 
rath, I beg, I implore you, don't allow 
yourself to get involved with that man ! 
You must bear me witness that I have 
never made mention, for good or for evil, 

UVIKO AQK. VOL. XX. 893 



of the man who has ruined me ; but now 
that you are in danger, now I hold it my 
duty, — this man is the cause of my mis- 
fortunes," and with that he had sprung up, 
and from his usually tranquil, friendfy 
eyes shot such a flash of hatred, that even 
the Eammerrath, absorbed as he was in 
his own afiairs, was terrified. 

" Yes," cried the inspector, " yes ! 
that man has driven me out of house and 
home, that man has heaped all sorts of 
tormenting anxieties upon me and my 
poor wife, and she has gone to her grave 
m conseauence ! No, no 1 Have nothing 
to do witn that man I " 

The warning was too impressive to be 
disregarded by the Eammerrath. "But 
who will help me ? " asked he. 

" Moses," said Habermann, quickly and 
decidedly. The Eammerrath would make 
objections, but Habermann placed him- 
self before him, and said still more im- 
pressively, "Herr Eammerrath, Moses I 
After dinner we will ride over there, and, 
if I know him, you will have no reason to 
repent." 

The Eammerrath stood up, and took, 
Habermann's arm; he leaned not merely 
upon that — no, evidently he was also sus- 
tained by the resolute advice of the in- 
spector. For a quiet man, when he is 
once aroused from his repose, exercises a 
great influence upon another human beins, 
even if he be not so ill and in such 
perplexity as the Eammerrath ; and differ- 
ence in rank goes down at the double- 
quick, in such an emergency, before per- 
sonal merit. 

The conversation at dinner was but feebly 
sustained, — every one was occupied with 
his own affairs; Habermann thought of 
his new, suspicious neighbor, the Eammer- 
rath of his money affiurs, and the lieuten- 
ant of cuirassiers looked as if he had lost 
himself in a calculation of compound inter- 
est, and could not find the way out ; and 
if the gracious mama had not mounted 
her high horse a little, and talked of the 
visits she must make to people of rank in 
the neighborhood, and the young ladies 
had not revelled in the prospect of coun- 
try, delights and unlimited grass and flow- 
ers, it would have been as silent as a 
funeral. 

After dinner the Eammerrath drove 
with his inspector to Rahnstadt. As they 
stopped at the door of Moses' house, the 
Eammerrath felt in much the same mood 
as if he had dropped a louis-d'or in the 
filth, and must stoop to pick it out with 
his clean hands. A musty odor met 
them, at the entrance, for a "produce 



Digitized by 



Googk 



98 



SEED-TIME AND HABYSST. 



business " does not smell like otto of roses, 
and the wooU when it has just left the 
mother-sheep's back, has quite a different 
smell from that which it has after it has 
been about the world a little, and got 
aired, and lies as a bright-colored carpet 
on a fine lady^s parlor, sprinkled with per- 
fume. 

And how disorderly it was in the pas- 
sage and. in the room ! For Blamchen was 
a very ffood wife, to be sure, but she did 
not understand how to ornament an en- 
try and a counter with a cow's head and 
a heap of mutton-bones ; for Moses said 
shoi^ly, that belonged to the business, 
and David was constantly bringing in new 
treasures and turned the house into a real 
rat's paradise, for those pleasant little 
beasts nm after the smell of a regular 
produce business, like doyes after anise- 
seed oil. 

In the room, the Kammerrath did not 
find himself more agreeably disposed, for 
Moses was orthodox, and on the Christian 
Sabbath, unless his business demanded 
the contrary, he wore his greasiest coat, 
in order to keep himself qmte opposed to 
the customs of^ the dressed-up Uentiles ; 
and as he now, with his grip at his left 
coat-pocket, sprang up and ran toward the 
Kammerrath, — '*0 neayensl the Herr 
Kammerrath ! the honor 1 " and shouted to 
Dayid, who was improving the Sunday- 
afternoon quiet in the ^ produce business " 
by napping a little on the sofa, ** Dayid, 
where are you sitting ? Where are you 
lying ? What are you lounmng there for ? 
Stand up ! Let the Herr Kammerrath sit 
down,*' and as he now endeavoured to 
force the Kammerrath into the place al- 
ready warmed by David, then would the 
Kammerrath gladly have left the louis- 
d'or lying in tne dirt; but — he needed it 
quite too pressinsly. 

Habermann threw himself into the 
breach, and set a chair for the Kammer- 
rath by the open window, and undertook 
the first introduction of the business ; and 
as Moses observed what the talk was to 
be about, he hunted David about till he 
pot him out of the room, — for although 
he let him do a good deal in the produce 
business, he did not consider him quite 
ripe, at six and thirty years, for the 
money business, — and when the air was 
firee, — that is to say, of David, — he ex- 
claimed once and again, what a great hon- 
or it was for him to have dealings with the 
Herr Kammerrath. *' What have I always 
said, Herr Habermann? * The Herr Kam- 
merrath is a ffood man, the Herr Kammer- 
rath is good/ What have I always siud, 



Herr Kammerrath? "The Herr Haber- 
mann is an honest man ; he has toiled and 
moiled to pay me the last penny.' " 

But as he perceived of what- a sum they 
were speaking, he was startled, and held 
back, and mi^e objections, and if he had 
not held Habermann in such high esteem, 
and read plainly in his looks that he seri- 
ously advised him to the business, then in- 
deed nothing might have come of it. And 
who knows but the matter might still 
have fallen through, if it had not been 
mentioned casually that the money was to 
go for the purchase of Gurlitz, and that 
otherwise the Kammerrath must enter into 
negotiations with Pomuchelskopp. But 
as this name was uttered, Moses made a 
face, as if one had laid a piece of tainted 
meat on his plate, and he cried out, ^ With 
Pomuffelskopp ! " for he pronounced the 
name in that way, "Do you know what 
sort of fellow he is? He is like that!" 
and with that he made a motion as if he 
would throw the bit of tainted meat over 
hie shoulder. " * David,* said I, * don't have 
anything to do with PomuffelBkopp 1 ' But 
these young people, — David bought some 
wool of hun. * Weill' said I; *you will 
see,' I told him. And what had he done ? 
There he had smuggled in with the washed 
wool the tangles, the wool from dead ani- 
mals, he had smuggled in dirty wool from 
slaughtered sheep, he had smuggled in 
two great field-stones. Two great field- 
stones had he smuggled in for me 1 When 
he came to get his money — * Good I ' said 
I — I paid mm in Prussian treasury notes, 
and I made little packets of a hundred 
thalers, and in the middle of each packet I 
smuggled in some that were no longer in 
circdiation, or counterfeit, and in the last 
packet I laid in two played-out lottery- 
tickets — * Those are the two great field- 
stones,' said L Oh, but didn't he make an 
uproar? When he came with the Notary 
Slus'uhr, — he is such an one to look at," 
— here he again threw the bit of tainted 
meat over Ms shoulder, — " like one of 
JDavid's rats, — his ears stand out, and 
he lives so well, he lives just like the rats, 
feeds on rubbish and filth, and gnaws 
open other people's honest leather. Oh, 
but they made a disturbance, they would 
bring a lawsuit against mel 'What is a 
lawsuit ? ' said 1 1 ^ I don't ha^e lawsuits. 
As the ware is, so is the money.' And do 
you know, gentlemen, what else I said? 
* The Herr Notary, and the Herr Pomu- 
fiebkopp and I are three Jews, but four 
might be made of us if the two gentlemen 
comd count for three.' Oh, they made an 
uproar 1 They abused me all over the 



Digitized by 



Google 



SEED-TIME AND HARYEST. 



99 



city. But the Herr Burgomeister said to 
me, ^ Moses, you do a great business, but you 
have never yet had a law-suit, let them 
work 1 * Herr Kammerrath, yon shall have 
the money to-day, at your oflfer, of com- 
mission and interest, for you are a good 
man, and you treat your people well, and 
you have a good name in the land, and 
you shall not have to deal with Pomuffels- 
kopp." 

To borrow money is a hard piece of 
work, and he who writes this knows it by 
many years* experience, and can speak of 
it accordingly ; but it makes a diflference 
whether one appeals to the kindness of an 
old friend, or turns to a man who makes a 
business of this business. The Kammer- 
rath had debts on his estate, quite a num- 
ber of debts; but they were not signifi- 
cant bills of exchange, and his money 
affairs had usuallv been arranged by writ- 
ing, or through the medium of lawyers or 
merchants ; he was now for the first time 
not in a situation to raise money easily, in 
the old way, he kad been obliged to go 
himself to a money-Jew — for so he called 
this sort of people ; the repulsion which he 
felt for this course, the very different place, 
and manner, and disposition which he 
found here, the anxiety caused by the ob- 
jections of Moses at the outset, and now 
at last the speedy help which relieved him 
from his pressing emergency, had over- 
powered the sick man ; he turned pale and 
sank back in his chair, and Habermann 
called for a glass of water. 

" Herr Kammerrath," cried Moses, "per- 
haps a little drop of wine, I can have half 
a pint brought from the merchant, in a 
moment." 

" No, water I water 1 " cried Habermann, 
and Moses ran out of the door, and nearly 
upset David, — for David had been listen- 
ing a little to the money business, in order 
that he might finally become ripe, — 
"David what are you doing, why don't 
you bring some water? " 

And David came, and the Kammerrath 
drank water, and recovered himself, and 
Moses told out the louis-d'ors on the table, 
and the Kammerrath picked them out of 
the dirt, and looked at his hands, and they 
seemed quite as clean as before ; and as he 
got into the carriage, and looked back 
from it into Moses* entry, it seemed to 
him as if among Moses' pelts and mutton 
bones, there was a great bundle, and that 
was his own trouble. And Moses stood in 
the door, and bowed and bowed, and 
looked round at his neighbors to find 
whether they saw that the Herr Kammer- 
rath had been to him. 



But for all the great honor, he did not 
sink under it. He held up his head, and 
got Habermann aside, and said, " Herr 
Inspector, you are an honest man ; when 
I agreed to this business, I did not know 
the man was so sick. You must promise 
me that the money shall be secured on the 
estate. It is a matter of life and death. 
What am I doing with a sick man and a 
note ! " 

The Kammerrath was relieved from his 
embarrassment; his agitation subsided, 
his health improved, he looked at the 
world with qmte different eyes; andlas 
Habermann, a few days later, again men- 
tioned the renting of the Pastor's field, he 
listened, and gave Habermann permission 
to talk with Pastor Behrens. He did so, 
and during the interview the little Frau 
Pastorin bustled about in the room, and 
it sounded in the ears of the Pastor and 
Habermann continually, — "A higher sum t 
A higher sum I " 

"xes," said EEabermann, "that is un- 
derstood. Frau Pastorin, the rent must * 
be raised ; times are better, but there will 
be no difficulty in the matter, — the ad- 
vantage lies on both sides." 

" Regina," said her Pastor, " it occurs to 
me that the flowers at the end of the gar- 
den have not been watered." 

" Ah, my dear life 1 " cried the Pastorin, 
and bustled out of the door, "the flow- 
ers I" 

"So," said the Pastor, "now we can 
soon settle it. I must confess to you, that 
I prefer to have a renter from outside, 
rather than one belonging to the place; 
there are so many little differences which 
spring from such immediate neighborhood, 
and make such a relation so doubtful and 
annoying, as it ou^t not to be between 
landlords and mimsters. And the Kam- 
merrath is personally much dearer to me 
than the new owner, — I have known him 
so many years. And you think I may de- 
mand a higher rent ? " 

"Yes, indeed, Herr Pastor, and I am 
authorized to offer you the half more. If 
I wished to rent the land myself^ I could 
offer you still more ; but " 

" We understand each other, dear Hab- 
ermann," said the Pastor, " we are agreed 
in the matter." 

And when the Frau Pastorin again 
bustled in with the little Louise, and cried 
out, "It was not necessary! Louise had 
already attended to the matter 1 " then 
was her Pastor's business all settled, and 
the dear little Louise hung around her 
father's neck : " Ah, father, father, that is 
80 goodl" Why i^onld she hang about 



Digitized by 



Googk 



100 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



her father's neck? What had she to do 
with rent-contracts ? Much, much 1 Her 
father would now be a little nearer to 
the Pastor's garden, ploughing and har- 
yesting, and she should see him the of- 
tener. 

As Habermann went back through the 
church-yard, he met Zachair Brasig, who 
had passed happily, out of his dreadfully 
unphilosophical stage of the gout, into the 
philosophical, as generally happened when 
his troubles were over. " GooKi-day, Karl," 
said he, ** I have been in your quarters a 
while waiting for you. But the time 
seemed long, so I made my compliments, 
meanwhile, to the Herr Eammerrath. He 
was very glad to see me, and treated me 
with the greatest kindness; but how the 
man looks 1 '* 

Yes, said Habermann, his master had — 
God bless him — grown very old and 
weak, and he for his part feared he was 
soon to lose the friend he esteemed so 



•"ft 



les," nodded Biiisig, ^but what is 
life, Karl? What is human life? See 
here, Karl, torn it over and over, like a 
leather money-bag, and not a shilling falls 
out." 

<<Bnisig," said Habermann, <<I don't 
know what other people think about it, 
but it seems to me as if life and labor were 
one and the same." 

" Ho, ho, Karl ! now I hear you run on ; 
you got that sentence fii^om Pastor 
behrens. He has sometimes talked with 
me on this subject, and he has ffiven me a 
description of human life, as if here below 
it was merely the manuring time, and the 
Christian beuef was the sun and the rain, 
which made the seed grow, and there 
above, in the upper regions, came the 
harvest; but man must work, and take 
pains and do his part. But Karl, it don't 
a^e, it goes against the Bible. The 
Bible tells about the lilies of the field; 
they toil not, and they spin not, and yet 
our Heavenly Father cares for them. And 
if our Lord takes care of them, then they 
live, and they don't labor, and when I have 
this infamous gout and do nothing, — noth- 
ing at all but hunt away the cursed, tor- 
menting flies from my face, — is that 
labor ? and yet I live under the ffood-for- 
nothine torture. And Karl," said he, and 
pointed to the right across the field, ** see 
those two lilies, that are picking their way 
over here, your gracious Herr Lieutenant, 
and the youngest Fraulein, have you ever 
heard that the lieutenant of cuirassiers 
troubled himself with labor, or that the 
grapous Fraulein did any spinning ? And 



^et they are both coming, with living bod- 
ies, over your rape-stubble." 

"Will you wait a moment, Zachary?**. 
said Habermann ; " they are coming in this 
direction, possibly they wish to speak to 
us." 

" For all me 1 " said Brasig. " But just 
look at the Fraulein, how she wades through 
the rape-stubble with her long skirts and 
her thin shoes 1 No, Karl, life is trouble 1 
And it begins always with the extremities, 
with the Tegs, and you may observe that 
with me from my confounded gout, and in 
the case of the Fraulein by the rape-stubble 
and her thin shoes. But what I was going 
to say, Karl — you have had your best 
time here, for when the Herr Kammerrath 
is dead, there look outl You will be 
astonished at the gracious lady, and the 
three unmarried daughters, and the Herr 
Lieutenant. Karl," he began again, after 
a little thought, "I womd hold to the 
crown-prince." 

" Eh, what ! Brasig, what are you talking 
about ? " said Habermann, hastily, *< I shaU 
go riffht on my way." 

" xes, Karl, so should I, and so would 
every body who was not a Jesuit. But 
look at the gracious Fraulein once more 1 
She goes right on her way too, but through 

the rape-stubble. Karl " But the 

young people were too near, he could say 
no more ; oidy in an aside he added, *' A 
Jesuit ? No I But he is a vocative." 

"I thank you, Herr Habermann, that 
you have waited- here for me," said Axel 
von Rambow, as they came up. "My 
sister and I are bound on two different ex- 

r editions ; she is seeking corn-flowers, and 
colts ; she has found no corn-flowers, and 
I no colts." 

"Gracious lady," said Brasig, "if you 
mean by corn-flowers our common field 
blossoms, — but," he interrupted himself^ 
"how this infamous stubble has ruined 
your pretty dress, all the flounces torn 
off 1 " and with that he bent down as if he 
would render the young lady the service 
of a maid. 

" No matter I " cried the Fraulein, draw- 
ing back a little, " it is an old dress. But 
where are the corn-flowers ? " 

" I will show you, — it is a real pleasure, 
— here dose by, near Gurlitz, corn- 
flowers, and scarlet-runners, and white- 
thorn, and thistle-blows, — in short, a 
whole plantation." 

" That will do nicely, dear Fidelia," said 
the Ueutenant. "You go with the Herr 
Inspector Brasig for the corn-flowers, and 
I beg Herr Habermann to accompany me 
to see the colts. For, do you know," said 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



101 



he to Habermann, ** my sood old papa was 
in such a good humor wis mormng, that 
*he has g;iven me permission to select the 
best of the four-year-old colts for my own 
use." 

^ I will show you the animals with pleas- 
ure," said Habermann, "there are some 
fine fellows, among them." 

So the two companies separated, and 
Habermann only heard further how Brasig 
said to the Fraulein Fidelia he was very 
glad to make her acquaintance, because he 
had once had a dog which was also named, 
Tid^le," and she was a famous rat- 
catcher 1 

Habermann went with the Herr Lieu- 
tenant toward the colt-paddock. They 
talked together, naturally about family 
matters, — the lieutenant was a liyely 
Younff fellow, and Habermann had known 
him from childhood, — but the man had 
learned nothing about them, all his yiews 
were too far beyond, and none of his ques- 
tions were to the point, so that Haber- 
mann sidd to himself ** He is good natured, 
yery good-natured, but he knows nothing, 
and yet — God bless him — when the old 
Herr is gone, he must tiJLe the estate, and 
make his liying off it ! " I 

As they were come to the paddock, and 
had mustered the colts, the lieutenant 
placed himself before Habermann, and 
asked, "Now, what do you say? which 
shall I take?" 

** The brown,** said Habermann. 

" I would rather choose the black. Look 
at the beautiful neck, the fine head 1 " 

" Herr yon Bambow," said Habermann, 
"you don't ride on head and neck, you 
ride on back and legs ; you want a horse 
for use, and the brown is worth three of 
the black." 

*" There seems to be English blood in the 
black." 

^That is true, he is descended from 
Wildfire; but there is old Mechlenburg 
blood in the brown, and it is a shame that 
one should let that go, — that one should 
not yalue the sood which the fatherland 
offers, and exdiange them for English 
racers." 

" That may be true," said Axel, " but in 
our regiment my comrades haye only black 
horses, — I decide for the black." 

That was a reason which Habermann 
did not rightly understand, so he was si- 
lent, and as they went back, the conversa- 
tion was a little one-sided; but as they 
were near the house — right before the 
door, as if he had spared himself to the 
last moment — the lieutenant held back 
the inspector, and with a deep sigh, as if 



he would shake off a burden from his heart, 
he said, " Habermann, I haye long wished 
to speak to you priyately. Habermann, I 
haye debts, — you must help me I It is 
nine hundred dollars that 1 must pay, I 
must haye it." 

That was a hard request for Habermann, 
but in truly serious ousiness, age midges 
itself respected ; he looked the young man 
of three-and-twenty full in the face, and 
said shortly, " Herr yon Bambow, I cannot 
do it." 

" Habermann, dear Habermann, I haye 
suchpressing need of the money." 

** Then you must tell your father." 

"My faUier ? No, no I He has already 
paid debts for me, and now he is sick, it 
would yex him too much." 

". Still you must tell him. Such business 
must not be done with strange people, it 
should be settled between father and son." 

" Strange people ? " asked Axel, and 
looked him so beseechingly and affection- 
ately in the eye, " Habermann, am I then 
so strange to you ? " 

"No, Herr yon Bambow, nol" cried 
Habermann, and grasped after the young 
man's hand, but md not reach it. " You 
are not strange to me. Anything that I 
couid do for you, I would do quickly. Hie 
matter itself is a little thins, and if I could 
not do it alone, my friend Britoig would 
help me out ; but dear Herr yon £tmbow, 
your fiither is your natural helper, this 
step ought not to be delayed." 

"I cannot tell my father," said Axel, 
plucking at a willow-bush. 

" You must tell him," said Habermann as 
impressiyely as he could. "He suspects 
that you haye concealed debts frt>m him, 
and it troubles him." 

" Has he spoken to you about it ? " 

" Yes, but only in conse<^uence of his own 
great embarrassment, which is known to 
you." 

" I know," said Axel, " and I know also 
the spring at which he has pumped. Well, 
what my father does, I can do luso," added 
he coldly and shortly, and went in at the 
court-yard gate. 

" Herr yon Bambow," cried Habermann, 
and followed him hastily, " I beseech you, 
for heayen's sake, not to take this course ; 
it will be in yain, or it will only plunge 
you into p;reater difficulty." 

Axel did not listen. 

A couple of hours later, the Lieutenant 
yon Bamoow stood with Moses among the 
woolsacks and the hides in the entry of 
the Jew's house, — where Dayid had his 
pleasure among the mutton-bones, like a 
bug in a rug, — and was making i^parently 



Digitized by 



Googk 



102 



SEED-TIME AXD HARVEST. 



a last, despairing attack upon Moses' cau- 
tious money-bags ; but Moses held finnly 
to the decision: "Really and truly, Herr 
Baron, I can not. Now, why not, then? 
Why should I not? I can still serve you, 
I can still serve you well in the business. 
See, Herr Baron, there stands David. 
David where are you, what are you star- 
ing at ? Come here, David. You see, Herr 
Baron, there he stands, — he stands before 
you and he stands before me. I will not 
wink, I will not blink, I will go into the 
other room; now you may a^ David." 
And with that, he shoved himself with his 
right suspender-shoulder, back into the 
room. 

The poor lieutenant's business must 
stand a bad chance if he had to settle it 
with David, for if he looked in his shining 
uniform as if he were ridin^^ before the 
king's carriage, David's outside looked as 
shabby as if ne had been in the mail and 
dirt-cart. But this business depended less 
on a stately outside, than on who could 
best get the cart out of the mud, and at 
that David was terribly expert. He had 
three things in and about nimself which 
stood him in ^ood stead ; in the first place 
he had a particularly gorgeous Jew-lubber 
face, and as he stood uiere before the lieu- 
tenant, and chewed cinnamon-bark, which 
he stole out of his mother's pantry, on ac- 
count of the evil odor of the business, and 
with his head askew, and his hands in his 
pockets, stared at him, he looked as impu- 
dent as if the spirits of all the dead and 
gone rats, through the long years of the 
produce business, had entered into him; 
and then, in the second place, his feelings 
were tough, much tougher than his father's, 
and they were not softened by his daily 
intercourse with the touehest business in 
the world, with wool, and hides, and flax ; 
and, thirdly, he could make himself as re- 
pulsive as he pleased to any one, thanks to 
this same busmess. 



With such a happily gifted being, the 
lieutenant could not pull at the same rope. 
He went very shortly, with a heavy heut, 
out of the door; and David was so re- 
joiced over his own style and manners, that 
he became really compassionate, and he 
gave him on his way the Christian advice 
that he should so to the Notary Slus'uhr. 
" He has it," said he, " and he can do it." 

Scarcely was the young man out of the 
door, when Moses sprang out of the room ; 
" David, have you a conscience ? I will tell 
you some news; you have none I How 
could you send that young man among 
those cut-throats ? " 

" I have only sent him to his own peo- 
ple," said David, churlishly; "if he is a 
soldier, he is a cut-throat himself. If the 
notary cuts his throat, what do you care ? 
And is he cuts the notary's throat, what do 
I care?" 

" David," said the old man, and shook his 
head, "I say, you have no conscience." 

" What is a conscience ? " muttered Da- 
vid to himself; " when you are doing busi- 
ness, you drive me away; when you wont 
do business, you call me in." 

" David," said the old man, " you are still 
too young 1 " and went into the room. 

" K I am too young now," said David 
spitefully, " I shall always be too young ; but 
I know a place where I am not too young." 

With that, he put on another coat, and 
went the same way that the lieutenant had 
gone, to the Notary Slus'uhr's. 

What he had to do there, and what el^ 
was done there, I know not. I know mere^ 
that the young Herr von Rambow, the sane 
evening at Pumpelhagen, wrote a number 
of letters, and sealed up money in then ; 
and that when he had finished, he sigbed 
deeply, as if he had thrown off a burden. 
The first necessity was met; but he lad 
done like the old woman in the story, he 
had heated water in the kneading-trotgh. 



Thb following illastration, says Prof. Henry, 
of the vibratory movetnent of matter is attested 
by Prof Horsford, of the United States. The 
top of the high tower which constitutes the 
Bunker Hill Monument inclines towards the 
west in the morning, to the north at midday, 
and towards the east in the afternoon. These 
movements are due to the expanding influence 
of the sun, as it warms, in succession, the dif- 
ferent sides of the structure. A similar but 
more marked effect is produced on the dome of 



the Capitol at Washington, as indicated bj the 
apparent motion of the bob of a long plumb- 
line, fastened to the under side of the r3of of 
the rotundi and extending to the pavement be- 
neath. This bob describes daily an ellipsoidal 
curve, of which the longer diameter is four or 
five inches in length. By molecular actions of 
this kind, time, the slow but sure destroyer, 
levels with the ground the loftiest monuments 
of human pride. Athenaeum. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



80MB RECOLLECTIONS OF A READER. 



103 



From the CornhUl Magazine. 
80M£ RECOLLECnONS OF A BBADEB. 
(Condosion.) 

What shama oar lires often are, as they 
are seen b^ others 1 I do not mean that 
they are wilful hypocrisies, but that there 
is an outer crust of circumstance often en- 
veloping the real inner man, that is taken 
for the man himself. There are many, I 
doubt not, whose literary tendencies, or 
" proclivities," according to the cant of the 
day, are wholly misunderstood by their 
friends — of whom it would be said that 
their favourite, nay, their exclusive, read- 
ing consists of History and Politics, State 
Papers and Blue Books, all of the ponder- 
ous dry-as-dust kind, whilst in reality their 
souls are wedded to Poetry and Romance, 
and those seemingly hard eyes and stem 
features are often moist with the tears and 
mobile with the emotions of imaginative 
sympathy. The schoolboy who sits at his 
desk wiui David Copperfield or the Idylls 
of the King underneath his Latin Diction- 
ary or his Euclid, is but a type of the 
larger world of manhood. Our genuine 
literary pursuits are those which we in- 
dulge 9U0 rosd; which absorb us in the 
solitude of our own studies when no one 
is looking on, or with which only a few 
cherished associates, within or without the 
domestic circle, are acquainted. Even a 
man's books — I mean the books which he 
has written and published — are no indica- 
lions of the true literary blood in his 
leins. But circumstances are, in most in- 
Biances, stronger than inclination. It is 
eddom permitted to us to write the books 
wiich we would wish to write, any more 
thw it is permitted to us to, go to the 
plices to which we would wisE to go. I 
woald fain write poetry and romance in 
Italy, but circumstances have compelled 
me to devote myself to history and politics 
— b facts, not to fiction — m the fog^ 
atoDsphere of London. And mv case is, 
I dcubt not, the case of hundreds. So it 
is, 1 say, that people see only the crusta- 
ceois part of us. The muscles and the 
nenes and the heart's blood lie beneath 
this hard rough integument, as the mav-fly 
in tie caddice ; and often even our oest 
frieads do not know that they are there. 

I have written this, because I have been 
thinking lately how very little these " rec- 
ollections " accord with my outer life. I 
greatly surprised a friend who was dining 
with me, a few years ago, just before leav- 
ing England, to take up a high judicial ajK- 
pomtment in a distant settlement, by recit- 
ing long passa^s from ParaceUus, and out- 
quoting one who thought himself master 



of the situation. I was, in my turn, sur- 
prised that a man, learned in the law, with 
the dust of the Inns of Court upon him, 
should have been so enthusiastic in his 
love of the most poetic ofpoets, and shown 
himself better read in Browning than in 
Blackstone or Coke. But so we misjudge 
one another. One, apparently, of the most 
prosaic unemotional men whom I have 
known in the course of my Ufe, told me 
that he never went to the play, which I 
readily believed and accounted for in ac- 
cordance with my theory of the character of 
the man ; but when he told me that the rea- 
son why he abstained from being present at 
theatrical performances was t^t he '* al- 
ways made a fool of himself," as he could 
not keep the tears of sympathetic sorrow 
or joy out of his eyes, I could only resolve 
that I would never pretend to any knowl- 
edge of human character again. 1 remem- 
ber, too, to have been told by one whose 
ties of kindred forbade all doubt as to his 
accuracy, that he who, perhaps, at that 
time was the most honoured of our evan- 
gelical English bishops, had confessed to 
having sate up far into the small hours 
reading Oliver Twist, Among the most 
cherished bf my reminiscences are some in 
which the comely person of that good 
bishop is blended with the sparer, more 
delicate figure of his archiepiscopal brother 
in the nleasant home at Lambeth, and the 
much delightful talk that there was, more 
literary than theological by far. 

There is a story in Butl^s ReTrUniscencea 
— a book very much read thirty or forty . 
years ago — of a small party of gentlemen, 
mostly, I believe, of the writer's profession, 
otherwise lawyers, but all with strongly- 
developed literary tastes, among whom it 
was determined after dinner that each 
should write down on a slip of paper the 
names of the (I think) ^re books the peru- 
sal of which had given them severally the 
most pleasure. The lists given in were 
generally, as might be expected, most 
diversified ; but there was the name of one 
book in them all. That one book was Gil 
Bias, I should like to see this experiment 
tried again, now that the literature of the 
world has been enriched by so many glo- 
rious additions. I am not sure that, if I 
were one of the party, I should not set 
down in my list tne very book in which 
this story m told. It is full of anecdotes 
of the days of Pitt and Fox and Thurlow, 
told by the learned and accomplished Ro- 
man Uatholic barrister, with rare force 
of expression. Many of us ^ybeards 
have been posted up, since the cUiys of our 
youth, in the anecdotage of the third 



Digitized by 



Googk 



104 



SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF A READER. 



Georgian reign and the Regency, from oar 
boyish studies of Charles Butler's book. 
But, what I was about to say was, that the 
lists of any dozen or so of well-known men 
of the present generation — statesmen, 
lawyers, ecclesiastics, soldiers, authors, &c. 
— when read out to the assembled party, 
would contain many surprises, many rev- 
elations of the inner characters of the men, 
wholly unsuspected by the world, perhaps 
even by their best friends. Would UU 
Bias still preserve the proud pre-eminence 
which it thus gained half-a- century ago ? * 
The garrulity of age is always digres- 
sional, and these are digressions. I was 
writing of Browning's Paracelsus, the name 
of which would assuredly go into the hat 
on my voting-paper. But with all my ad- 
miration of this great work of eenius, I 
confess that Sordello was too much for me. 
I looked forward to its appearance with 
eagerness and purchased it with avidity. 
Of course I was disappointed. Who was 
not ? But my faith subided all the same. 
It was only as though the Prophet had 
spoken in some strange tongue. I waited ; 
and in due course, thousands of miles away 
from home, I found myself the happy pos- 
sessor of a thin double-columned pamphlet, 
with a cream-coloured cover, on which was 
printed Bells and PomegrancUes, witri the 
name of Robert Browning attached. I 
didn't trouble myself much about the 
meaning of the title, nor have I troubled 
myself since. There was a second title, 
Pippa Passes, which was equally obscure 
at first; but it soon told its own story. 
And what a story it is — or rather what a 
sheaf of stories 1 It quite settled the ques- 
tion as to whether ]^bert Browning was a 
great dramatic poet; not a play-wright, 
but a dramatic poet. Strafford had been 
written and acted before this; but the 
question was still an open one, when that' 
magnificent scene in the garden-house, be- 
tween Sebald and Ottima — the very con- 

• I Mooant for the absenoe of Shakspeare's Plays 
from the nnmerloal list bj the fiict. alreadjr notloed, 

that ?t'ry fpwpc*c>plc In thematuHlT itrilH'ir cnliaal 
pawe tv ad d ri^^v r hf ?iiim 'J v oa c ■ ► tu [> i > i . • : , • r . -he 
■tudf of ytiak-ipeftn* fiT tbi> tir-«t «Jia..>. lli^y Imve 
XTtiwn grfad^uallj h.to {kmUlarlty with thi*^ in i->n- 
lerfliL worka» asi thpj Jibv« with th« m!iplf<?d w rtt- 
iDff!t. Ji was BAlfl. I think bf llflzlitt, thflt tbt-tr are 
oiuy thro** bnnfc* *' wortb lookiniE Into ftir a iiiinta- 
tloii '* — tUp Old Tedtam^ntp i^hak^jreare'a I'lavfl, wnd 
Wordi worih^js Exour»i(jn* Tlw fltudy rtf ihu lui^t of 
tfa»B bouka, ill thk^orifflnal iarj^c>*-iiiar|r3ntMi qiijirto, 
w»jt otii* f*f thi? lltprarr **vi'iiu *>f my ISfi*. on which 
I fihaulrl dfft^ll, if upjice permit UmI. Ind«wl. ! ifeel 
thatl axri euUiy of luy tintall nmoutit nf liif^rnTttude 
fo aafli^c^ i«i> Httkj! abi^Eit thci lurjcc^ epadfi which che 
atudir of Wordn worth itcmuph^d lu the reoullfH^inns 
or tfiy lltj^rary llffi. and tho &uhifilantlal bL'iifallt whioh 
I d**ri*ed from thiit Mod v. It tJiuiylit nifi h more 
cUfM^rfUl phXIuqi^iphf thin t had ev^r eater taluc^ be- 
fore. 



centrated essence of Tragedy, than which 
there is nothing more terrible in any 
Greek drama extant — settled the ques- 
tion for ever. But such a scene would be 
no more fit for theatrical representation in 
these days than the Agamemnon. I have 
always thought, too, that the talk of the 
poor girls on the door-steps — especially 
of the little half-corrupted castaway, whose 
life was so much worse than herself — is, 
in quiet homely pathos, scarcely to be ex- 
celled. Some may call it a blot, and wish 
it away ; for it treats of a forbidden sub- 
ject — an illustration of the lives of those 
whom Mrs. Browning, not more timorously 
reserved than her husband, calls 

The forty thousand women with one smile. 
Who only smile at night beneath the gas. 

True, the scene is Italian, and so are some 
of its accessories, but the sentiment is uni- 
versal, and the study of such a passage 
mieht do more than '^ midnight meetings " 
and the like, to awaken sympathy and send 
people to the "rescue." The yearnings 
after the old, pure life, could not have 
been more touchin^ly or more truthfully 
expressed than in this pathetic passage : — 

Ist Girl. Spring's oome and summer's com- 
ing. I woald wear 
A long loose gown, down to the feet and hands. 
With plaits here, close aboat the throat, all day ; 
And ail night lie, the oooi long nights, in bed ; 
And have new milk to drink, apples to eat, 
Deosans and jonetingB, ieatheiMJoats ... ah, £ 

should say. 
This is away in the fields — miles! 

Srd Girl. Say at once 

Tou*d be at home : she'd always be at home! 
Now oomes the story of the farm among 
The oherryT>rchard8, and how April snowed 
White blossoms on her as she ran. Why, fol. 
They've nibbed the ohalk-mark out, how tall 

you were. 
Twisted your starling's neok, broken his oa(e, 
Made a dunghill of your garden ! 

Itt Girl, They, destpy 

My garden siooe I left them ? well — perb%>s! 
I would have done so : so I hope they hav). . . 

Srd Girl, flow her mouth twitches! 

I read this Pq)pa Passes, and others d* the 
series that followed, as Colombe's Birhday, 
the Blot in the * Scutcheon, &c., in a strange 
land, with little external excitemeni to 
break in upon the abstraction which is S9 
necessary to the full ei\joyment of such 
studies. " The world is too much with us," 
at times, for such enjoyment. The poet, 
perhaps, has.no such devotees as those 
who pore over his inspired pages in the 
solitude of far-off lands, where books are 
scarce and familiar faces are still scarcer. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF A READER. 



105 



In busy cities, wbere the great battle with 
time is being incessantly w&sedf men are 
wont to put aside delights of this kind for 
days of leisure, which never come. I hare 
not yet read the Ring and the Book ; I am 
waiting for a fitting opportunity, when 
the world may not be " too much with me." 
Perhaps it will never come. Be it sol 
** But, come what may, I have been blessed " 
with many happy opportunities, and I am 
still blessed with tne precious memories 
of those past delights. I remember read- 
ing Bailey's Festust for the first time, 
thirty years a^o, when on main-guard in 
an Indian mibtary station, and now, as I 
open the volume, I find in it a slip of paper 
containing the official communication of 
the parole of the day — ** Station Orders. 

— Parole, Cawnpore. Assistant- Adjutant- 
General s Office, — w 6th September, 
1840." And there the record has lain for 
nearly the third part of a century. How viv- 
idly the slip of paper brings back the day 
and the book, as it were but yesterday. But 
how different the associations of that word 
Caumpore t I wonder whether it is stiU 
one of the orthodox replies to the chal- 
lenge on the '* grand rounds,'* to ''halt, 
and give the word." What a ghastly, 
sepulchral sound it must have in the dead 
of the night I That little slip of China 
paper has revived hosts of recollections, 
on which I could dwell for houri). There 
it lies facing the paee ^280 — original 
edition — 1839), with the ^astly heading 

— " Scene : Hell." I have a vague notion 
that the blasphemous sublimity of tMs 
scene caused me to shut up the book. I 
can, somewhat hazily, recollect that when 
I came to the words — 

So let the bumiDg health go round, 
A health to heU! 

I bethought me of a grim reality which, a 
little time before, had made a deep impr^s- 
sion on my mind. There was a arinking- 
song known in that country, the refrain or 
chorus of which was the toast — 

Here's a health to th»dead already. 
And hurrah! for the next who dies! 

It was written at a time when war and 

Festilence were reaping harvests of death, 
am glad that I do not know the name of 
the writer. I had forgotten its existence, 
when, some ten years after it was written, 
I was proceeding by sea to an unhealthy 
coast-station, in the company of two young 
ensigns, and upwards of fifty native con- 
vicfc*, mostly murderers, without a guard: 
As we neared the station, one afternoon, ■ 



one of these young ensigns, still ruddy 
with English health, sate at the cuddy- 
table with me : we were botii writing let- 
ters, to be dispatched immediatelv on 
landing. Presently he broke the ulence 
bv sajnng, "Do you know this song?" 
He had come by accident upon it in his 
writing-desk, whikt searching for an Eng- 
lish letter. He read it out firom beginning 
to end with great gusto, almost singing 
the concluding lines of each verse, given 
above, and finishing by asking me if it 
was not fine. Three or four days after- 
wards, he was dead. He was literally 
the '* next who died *' among the officers 
of the great army to whichhe belonged. 
On the morning after we landed, he and 
I, and an officer who had been for some time 
at the station, went out for a ride. We ap- 
proached too closely some jungly marshes 
and thickets of mangrove-trees, and carried 
home with us the seeds of the deadly fever 
of the country. The fresh young ensign 
and the more seasoned captain were smit- 
ten down that evening. The former died 
ere the third day was out. The latter 
barely struggled through his fever; and 
mine, which broke out some weeks after- 
wards, wrecked, but did not quite sink me. 
But the chorus of that ghastly song, as 
chaunted out by poor young R-- — ^ haunt- 
ed me long afterwi^ds : and the ** heallii 
to hell," in that grand fcene of Festus, 
brought it back to my memory.* It is quite 
vivid now after the lapse of all these years. 
I see the cuddy of the brig Krishna^ as 

clearly as I see the guard-room at > 

with its ink-stained table, its crazy chairs, 
its decrepit bed, and the brass ke vs of the 
treasure-chest in my belt. And I have 
been reading whole pages of Festtu with 
as much emotion as when the book came 
fresh into my hands a few months after its 
first anonymous publication. We grey- 
beards flatter ourselves at times, that 
we are much changed, that years have 
" brouffht the philosophic mind," that we 
are oum and unemotional and can read 
anything unmoved ; but when we begin to 
try it, we find that we are greater fools 
than ever. 

I have a notion that no one who leads a 
very settled life — who does not find him- 
self in strange places and in stranee situa- 
tions, can thoroughly appreciate the bless- 
ings of books. A stav-at-home English- 
man reads a great deal in the course of 
the day. He reads at breakfast, he reads 
in the railway-train going to London and 
back ; he reads at ^d times in business 
hours, and, durins holidays at the sea-side, 
he lounges or akeps over the literature 



Digitized by 



Googk 



106 



SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF A READER. 



that suits him best ; or, perhaps, in coun- 
try-houses on rainy days, he makes serious 
inroads into a new volume of history or 
biography. But, generally speaking, espe- 
ciaUy m stirring times, the studies of John 
Bull are very much confined to the news- 
papers. Thoroughly to eiy oy a good book, 
I am inclined to think that we must be 
out of the way of newspapers and periodi- 
cals, and, I might almost add, out of the 
way of familiar society. I remember to 
have read in one of HazUtt's essays, and I 
think elsewhere, some remarks on the de- 
light of stumbling, in a country inn, when 
weather-bound, on some stray volumes 
of readable literature, such as an odd 
volume of Clarissa HarlowCy or a well- 
thumbed copy of the PUgrinCs Proaress or 
the Book of Martyrs, There are few who 
have not experienced the same sort of 

Pleasure. But nowhere, perhaps, is the 
elight greater than on Doard ship. I 
have already made some reference to this ; 
but I would speak now of later experi- 
ences. Nowhere are we more cut off from 
all the concerns of the outer world. 
Great wars may be waged, the destinies 
of empires may be changed, sovereigns 
may die, dynasties may empire, and yet 
we may know nothing about them. In the 
old times, before the days of steam and 
the electric telegraph, a resident in India 
might be nine or ten months in the rear 
with respect to his knowledge of events in 
Europe. He was four or five months be- 
hindhand when he started, and four or 
five months on his way home ; and if he 
did not chance to meet an outward-boun<} 
ship on his way, with facilities of boarding 
her, he learnt nothing until his arrival in 
the Channel. It was a glorious state of 
existence. What did it matter to us, in 
those days, what party was in power, 
what nations were at strife ? We ate our 
breakfasts with a keener appetite than if 
The Times and Telegraph had been on the 
table. We got through Saturday without 
the Review of that name. The name of a 
new month was entered in the Log, and 
we survived without the monthly maga- 
zines. But it generally happened that 
there were a few good books on board. 
The captain had onen a small library of 
his own, and at least some of the passen- 
gers, outward and homeward bound, were 
provided with a few volumes of good 
reading, which they could interchange 
with each other. When the elements are 
quiet, there is nothing to interrupt a man's 
studies on board but eating, flirting, and 
quarrelling; and the two la^t are com- 
monly resorted to for lack of books, or 



want of love for them. The conditions, 
indeed, are highlv favourable to the en- 
joyment of booKS, even if we are in 
strong health ; and if sickness confines the 
passenger to his cabin (I do not speak of 
seaHsickness, for that nothing can beguile), 
they are blessings, the sum of which no 
words can express. For there he lies, day 
after day, so helpless, so lonely, with noth- 
ing but the eternal bulk-heads to meet his 
eye, even the brief visits of fellow-passen- 
gers perhaps forbidden ; and if he could 
not go fortn to travel in strange countries, 
and see fields and houses and mountains 
around him — if he could not, by the aid 
of books, people his cabin with familiar 
friends, it would go hard with him to keep 
his wits from being crazed. 

No books that we ever read impress 
themselves so vividly on our memories hi 
those which we devour on our sick-beds. 
In health the book is but an episode — an 
interlude — in the day's life; in sickness 
it is everything to us. In the stirring 
intercourse of life, the Real soon effaces 
the Ideal ; the Present jostles down the 
Past. What are the "* blameless king" 
and the ^ table round," and the stalwart 
knights to us, when we are sitting in com- 
mittee at our own long table, wiui no lack 
of knights perhaps, but with other work 
before us than that of redressing human 
wrongs. What are Hampden and Pym 
to us, when Gladstone and John Bright 
are to speak to-niffht, and we have a seat 
under the gallery r But, in the quietude 
of the sick-room, we can ride abroad with 
Sir Grawatne and Sir Launcelot; or see 
Lord Strafford, *' wearing his badge," in 
the great trial, which sent him to the 
block. I owe a great debt of gratitude to 
two books, which I read under both the 
conditions above spoken of — of sickness 
and board-ship. Mere accident brought 
them to me. I think that they were both 
borrowed. The one was Humphry Clinker, 
the other Wilhelm MeisterA No two 
books of the same class of literature 
could have been more unlike to each other. 
But I cannot say which gave me the 
greater pleasure; or whether I lived more 
familiarly, for a while, with Matthew 
Bramble or with Mignon. The old gen- 

• I lee it stated that Humphry CUnker was the 
last book read by Miss Mltford befbre her death . I 
remember that^ shortlv after my return to EngUod, 
I purchased all Fielding's and Smollett's novels, 
and read them with an appetite that I have not of- 
ten brought to the perusal of more refined works of 
the imaginatioii ; for even the coarseness is a schol- 
arly coarseness, and tiie humour certainly is unsuiw 
passed. We And ourselves in the society of genuine 
men and women. They might be better, bat they 
are very real. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



BOMB RECOLLECTIONS OF A READER. 



107 



tleman and the little ffirl were yerj differ^ 
ent companions ; but I was eanal to either 
fortune of reverential friendship or conde- 
scending affection. Old and young came 
to me readily when I called them, and I 
found them both excellent company. It 
was consolatory to think ^at Matthew 
Bramble had more ailments than myself 
and that I had such a dear little maid as 
Mignon to bring me my medicine. And 
then I could go to Bath or Buxton, or 
Weimar, just as I liked. I could drink the 
waters, or shift the scenes of a theatre, or 
follow in ima^ation any of the actors in 
those two dissmular dramas, just as if I had 
a part in the play. Under Providence, I 
beueve that they saved my life, in spite of 
the protests of the Faculty. For Ihad to 
beg, and beg for a book in vain for days, 
and at last to transgress the orders of the 
doctor. Nature knew best what was good 
for me. 

It was some dozen years after this, that 
on another sea-voyaffe, slowly recovering 
from a severe illness, I derivea infinite con- 
Bolation fr^om reading Dickens's American 
Notes. I remember that one evening I was 
reading this book by the light of the 
"swing lamp "over my couch, when my 
long, pale, worn face suddenly puckered 
up witn laughter. I had not laughed for a 
louff time. And yet, it was not much that 
made me lay down the book to give full 
vent to my emoyment of the ludicrous. 
I cannot quote the exact words of the pas- 
sage ; but the substance of it was to the 
effect that Mr. Dickens, whilst travelling 
in America, had been abruptly broken in 
upon by a fellow-passeneer, with a dis- 
course upon castor-oil ; whereon ^e writer 
observed that it was the first time to his 
knowledge that this useful ijiedicine had 
been used as a ** conversational aperient." 
As I was very familiar just at that time 
of my life with the useful medicine in 
question, I have no doubt that the incident 
made a stronger impression on my mind 
than it would have done in any other cir- 
cumstances. Certainly, it was a cachinna- 
tory aperient to me. But the delights of 
the book were by no means confined to 
this and other choice passages. The sub- , 
Btantial pleasure was in travelling through 
a strange country with such a pleasant 
compamon. I have never thought that in 
what is called the " management of the 
sick-room," sufficient value nas been at- 1 
tached to books as important curattre 
agencies. There is some change observ-! 
able, in this respect, in the present day ;| 
for the reign of good sense has com- 
menced ; and with tiie admission of fresh 



air, and the repudiation of blood-letting' 
the sanatory innuences of amusement have 
come to be better understood. The first 
thing of all for the invalid is to cease from 
dweUing on his ailments, to shake off Uie 
environments of the sick-room, to imbibe 
freely the great tonic of hope, and to live 
in a world of future enjoyment. Pleas- 
antly written books of travel are, in ^ese 
respects, the best stimulants in the world. 
They carry a man to strange places, sur- 
round him with new circumstances, and 
help him to build castles in the air, of 
which he is to be the delighted occupant. 
Even a map is a great help to a sick man, 
to lift him out of his self. I have often 
beguiled the time by projecting journeys, 
at home and abroad, in search of health, 
which, when the opportunity has come, 
have of course never been realized. But 
it has done me a deal of good to think of 
them. 

I was nearing the top of life, according 
to sciiptural computation (assuming that 
half of^the journey is down hill), when 
circumstances, stronger, I have said, than 
inclination, determined me towards his- 
torical research. For years I have been 
burrowing in the soil of hard feet. K it 
be not on the whole as pleasant as Poetry 
and Romance, History has exceeding great 
rewards of its own. There is a tendency, 
in these times, for the critical acumen of 
reviewers to limit the domain of History. 
It is often said of this or that book, that 
it is very readable, very informing, that it 
brings to light many important new facts, 
and elucidates mudi that was before but 
obscurely known. Still **itis not histo- 
ry." And this goes on until the exasper- 
ated annalist, or chronicler, or whatever 
he may be, exclaims, " In Grod's name, then, 
what is history?" A question which, I 
suspect, the profound critic would find it 
very difficult to answer. What was said 
by the French of the great Balaklava 
charge, that it was ** magnificent, but that 
it was not war," has been said, scores of 
times, but with a difference, of Mr. King- 
lake's account of it, *' It is magnificent, but 
it is not history." Why is it not history? 
I have always had an idea that a truth- 
ful exposition of facts is history, and 
that the more accurately these facts are 
stated the more historical is the account 
of them. If I were asked for a definition 
of Mstory, perhaps I should answer, <*the 
portraiture of events." The first essential 
m a portrait is the likeness, or, in other 
words, the truth. All else is mere orna- 
ment. As a picture, as a work of art, for 
the general pubUo, pleasant to the eye, 



Digitized by 



Googk 



108 



SOME BEGOLLEGTIONS OF A READER. 



the thing might be better for .the omission 
of a mole, or a few wrinkles, or the slight- 
est possible cast in the eye ; but it would 
be less a portrait or representation of the 
man with such omissions than with the 
truthful eye-sores of which I have spoken, 
and would, therefore, be less a realization 
of the purpose for which it was painted. I 
have heard of *^ historians " of whom it has 
been said that they would " sacrifice truth 
to an epigram." In the writings of such his- 
torians all the more picturesque a(^uncts 
are reproduced with wonderful effect : there 
is great " breadth " in the recital, and there 
is boldness of assertion, which, with many 
people, passes for truth. To halt in the 
narrative, for the purpose of investi- 
gating an important fact by the collation 
and examination of evidence, is clearly an 
offence against art. The reader resents 
it ; the cntic condemns it. But such of- 
fences are of the very essence of history 
— at all events, of history at first-hand. 
Second-hand history, profiting by foregone 
explorations and investigations, may take 
for granted what has been demonstrated 
conclusively in some preceding work, and 
despatch in an hour what it has taken 
weeks or months of labour truthfully to 
exhume and elucidate. But who is the 
real historian — he who goes to the foun- 
tain-head of truth, who examines every 
doubtful assertion, detects and explodes 
error, compares and investigates conflicting 
statements ; who, in doing this, reads cart- 
loads of original correspondence, public 
and private, and exammes living wit- 
nesses by scores ; or the writer who, com- 
ing after, gets rid of all the grit of contro- 
versy, and who has little to do but to re- 
write with greater polish and precision 
what his predecessor has placed ready to 
his hand r There can be but one answer. 
The latter may produce an historical prose- 
poem or romance, infinitely more attract- 
ive ; but 'the former is the true historian. 
It most not be supposed that I undervalue 
these adornments. When I think of what 
it cost me in my younger days to read 
through Hook's History of Rome and Mit- 
ford*s History of Greece, I cannot but bless 
those writers who have endeavoured to 
make the recital of actual events attract- 
ive to the reader. I think that we have 
very properly exploded a great deal of 
nonsense about the " dignity of history." 
Genuine history does not consbt in the 
mere representation of the outer-crust of 
great events. There is infinitely more in- 
struction in tracing the origin of these 
events, which are, for the most part, to be 
found in the character of the nation and 



in the characters of individual men. Hiai 
history, therefore, which best represents 
the manners and customs and inner-life of 
the people, as well as the lives of the lead- 
ing members of the community; which 
deals most in popular description and 
most largely admits the biographical and 
anecdotical elements — is the most faithfiil, 
as it is the most interesting. The cardi- 
nal defect of many orthodox historieal 
works is that there is no flesh-and-blood in 
them. Kings and queens, great warriors 
and great statesmen, are men and women, 
not mere pageants and scarecrows. And 
certainly, in this respect, the historians of 
the present day excel those who flourished 
in the time of our forefathers, with the ex- 
ception, perhaps, of Clarendon, whose his- 
tories abound in portraits of living men.* 
But what I here say in favour of this 
more attractive style of history militates 
in nowise against what I have said above, 
that truth is the one thing needful, and 
that he who brings to light the greatest 
amount of truth is the most genuine histo- 
rian, though not, perhaps, the greatest 
historical artist, of all. 

For my own part, I like to see the pro- 
cesses by which results are produced. I 
like to go a little behind the scenes. Mj 
natural tendencies, as I have said, are ^ 
towards fiction ; but there is great excite- 
ment in fact-hunting, and there are few 
pursuits more interesting than the stady 
of such materials of history as the auto- 
graph letters or notes of the great actors 
themselves — little scraps of paper, per- 
haps, with a few words hastily written 
upon them, but often of more value to his- 
tory than whole folios of recorded corres- 
pondence. It is an unlikely looking things 
perhaps, in itself — something that, at first 
sight, you are inclined to put aside as un- 
serviceable, but, on closer inspection, you 
find that it brings to light some long-hid- 
den fact, or loosens some knotty point of 
history ; or, if it does not thus directly aid 
you, it puts you on the right scent, or sup- 

• It mxut always be mteftUly tcknowljdjed that 
In thla respect iUcaulay has done much for HJ». 
torv. After the example thus Bet, and its "«im«»« 
sncbess. we shall probabW have no more rery d»M 
histories. Ithasl£ensaidthathehwwmedm«j^^ 
hesitated to sacridoe troth to ««^^, »"^^*Lf SJ 
U applicable rather to \iUEnay» than Jj ^w fi^ 
tory V England The ^*wyirwere ^^-^ 
dSf written anonymonsly. for effect ; and they were 

IruthflU Bnt the BisUyry was written, and ta 

SSSVe:written. with *«««?nS^!2^LS*to to 
SSSb. and the fkcts. are. for the m^^^ toM 

leotioiiB Qf partf. 



Digitized by ^ 



SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF A READER. 



109 



plies a missing link in a chain of evidence, 
^which leads to most valuable results. But 
I shall soon be digressing into '* Recollec- 
tions of a Writer" and it is time for me to 
<iraw towards a conclusion. 

But. after all, when I come to lode at it, 
]u)w little have I said, and how much do I 
feel that I have left unsaid. To many 
men, the history of their reading is the his- 
tory of their lives. This is not quite the 
case with respect to my own life, but it 
goes some way towards an epitome of my 
autobiography; and, in some respects, it 
is not only a large, but the best part of it. 
What we do we may forget, or we may not 
wish to remember ; but what we read is a 
delight for ever. There are, doubtless, 
hundreds, who, like myself, have lain 
awake in the dead of the night or in the 
ghastly dawn, and repeated to themselves 
whole pages of poetry, or acted, in imagi- 
nation, long scenes of remembered dramas. 
I would recommend every one to have an 
ample repertoire of this kind, ready at all 
times for immediate use. I learnt ** by 
heart,^' the first book of Paradise Lost when 
a boy, as a school-task, and the whole of 
Moore's Paradise and the Periy as a pleasure- 
task; and very serviceable have I often 
found these and other similar acquisitions. 
It^is like carrying about a select library in 
one's pocket, with the additional advantage 
of being able to read the books in the danc. 
Tou may lose your fortune, you may lose 
your friends, but you cannot lose these 
possessions. Friends 1 only think what a 
choice every reader has of them ; friends 
to suit every mood. He can go a-travel- 
ling with Don Quixote, or Bunyan^s Chris- 
tian ; he can crack jokes with Mercutio 
and Gratiano; he can drink Sherris-sack 
with Falstafl^ or strong port with Squire 
Western ; he can sit in the chimney comer 
witii the good vicar. Dr. Primrose, or with 
the " reverend champion " of the Deserted 
Tillage; he can discuss the Agamemnon 
with Parson Adams and the fitness of things 
with Philosopher Square; he can pay a 
visit at Christmas to the brothers Cheery- 
ble, and ask Colonel Newcome to dinner. 
They are sure never to quarrel with him, 
never grow cold ; he has them always at 
their l^st; cheery if he is cheerv, grave if 
he is grave, never disappointing him, never 
dashinff with his humours. And then, what 
a Paradise of Fair Women he may have 
from which to select a loving companion. 



He may have Antigone for a daughter or a 
sister ; he may have Cleopatra to coquette 
with him ; he may have wit-passages with 
Rosalind and Beatrice, and love-passages 
with Juliet or Miranda ; he may have Anel 
to Cjarry his messages and Anne Page to 
wait upon him ; he mav adopt Mignon and 
little !Nell and culture them to the perfection 
of womanhood ; and he may take [ ] 

to wife. I must needs leave a blank here ; 
when it comes to marriage let every one 
fill it in as he pleases. It would be inter- 
esting and amusing to see how some of 
our learned and acomplished friends would 
occupy the vacant space. Winter is com- 
ing on apace with its long evenings and 
its bright fires ; and it might be worth a 
thought whether the idea could not be 
turned to profitable account in aid of the 
evening^s amusement. " Of all the hero- 
ines (or heroes) of poetry and romance, 
whom would you choose for a wife (or 
husband) ? *' Then the ^ame might go off 
into specifications. ** Of all Shakspeare's 
heroines, &c.?" « Of all Scott's ? " "Of 
all Byron's ? " " Of all Dickens's, Thack- 
eray's, Anthony TroUope's ? " &c. I throw 
out the hint to my young friends. It 
might be better than "Post," or "Birds, 
Beasts, and Fishes." Some little lady 
might go round with a pencil and voting- 
papers and a basket, and collect the sev- 
eral votes — all signed, of course ; and the 
result might be some fim, and, perhaps, 
some glimpses of information respecting 
the characters of the voters. There woulct 
doubtless, be some diverting blunders, in 
good faith, and some waggeries not in 
good faith — as, for example, if the Adonis 
of the party were to give m a vote for Mrs. 
BardeU or Mrs. Gamp, or some one else 
were to ^ve it in for them. Such a same 
as this might promote some innocent hilar- 
ity at Christmas-time, and might remind 
some thinking people of the gratitude 
which we owe to the writers of books. 
There are few amongst us who do not 
need to be so reminded. We read the 
books, and care little about the writers ; 
but if we would only consider for a little 
while how different life would have been 
for us if these book-writers had not helped 
us through it, we should cherish an 
amount of thankfulness in our hearts 
second only to that which we owe to the 
Great Source of the intelligence which has 
enabled them thus to lighten our lives. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



110 



WILFRID CUMBBRMBDE. 



CHAPTER VII. 
THE SWORD ON THE WALL. 



Where possession was impossible, 
knowledge might yet be reached ; could I 
not learn the story of the ancient weapon ? 
How came that which had more fitly hong 
in the hall of a great casUe, here upon the 
wall of a kitchen ? My uncle however, I 
felt, was not the source whence I might 
hope for help. No better was my aunt. 
Indeed I had the conviction that she neither 
knew nor cared anything about the useless 
thing. It was her tea-table that must be 
kept bright for honour's sake. But there 
was grannie 1 

My relations with her had continued 
much the same. The old fear of her lin- 
gered, and as yet I had had no inclination to 
visit her room by myselfl I saw that my 
uncle and aunt always behaved to her with 
the greatest kindness and much deference, 
but could not help observing also that she 
cherished some secret offence, receiving 
their ministrations with a certain condo- 
soension which clearly enough manifested 
its origin as hidden cause of complaint and 
not pride. I wondered that my unde and 
aunt took no notice of it, always address- 
ing her as if they were on the best possible 
terms; and I knew thkt my uncle never 
went to his work without visiting her, and 
never went to bed without reading a prayer 
by her bedside first. I think Nannie told 
me this. 

She could still read a little, for her sight 
had been short, and had held out better 
even than usual with such. But she cared 
nothing for the news of the hour. My un- 
cle had a weekly newspaper, though not by 
any means regularly, n'om a friend in Lon- 
don, but I never saw it in my grandmother's 
hands. Her reading was mostly in the 
SpectatoTf or in one of De Foe's worics. I 
have seen her reading Pope. 

The sword was in my bones, and as I 
judged ^at only from grannie could I get 
any information respecting it, I found my- 
self beginning to inauire why I was afraid to 
^o to her. I was unable to account for it, still 
^ss to justify it. As I reflected, the kind- 
ness of her words and expressions dawned 
upon me, and I even eot so far as to believe 
that I had been guilty of neglect in not 
visiting her oftener and doing something 
for her. True, I. recalled likewise that my 
uncle had desired me not to visit her ex- 
cept with him or my aunt, but that was 
a^ ago, when I was a very little boy, and 
might have been troublesome. I could 
even read to her now if she wished it. In 
short, I felt myself perfectly capable of en- 



le 



tering into social relations with her gen- 
erally. But if there was any flow of alSec- 
tion towards her, it was the sword that had 
broken the seal of its fountain. 

One morning at breakfast I had been sit- 
ting gaSinff at the sword on ^e wall oppo- 
site me. My aunt had observed the stead- 
iness of my look. 

" What are you staring at, Willie? " she 
said. ^ Your eyes are fixed in your head. 
Are you choking ? " 

The words o&nded me. I got up and 
walked out of the room. As I went round 
the table I saw that my uncle and aunt 
were staring at each other very much as I 
had been staring at the sword. I soon felt 
ashamed of myself^ and returned, hoping 
that my behaviour might be attribut d to 
some passing indisposition. Mechanically 
I raised my eyes to the walL Could I be^ 
lieve them? The sword was gone — ab- 
solutely gone 1 My heart seemed to swell 
up into my throat; I felt m^ cheeks burn- 
ing. The passion grew within me, and 
might have broken out in some form or 
other, had I not felt that would at once be- 
tray my secret. I sat still with a fierce 
effort, consoling and strengthening myself 
with the resolution that! would hesitate 
no longer, but take the first chance of a 
private interview with grannie. I tried 
hard to look as if nothing had happened, 
and when breakfast was over, went to my 
own room. It was there I carried on my 
pasting operations. There also at this time 
I drank deep in ihe " Pilgrim's Progress : ** 
there were swords, and armour, and giants, 
and demons there ; but I had no inclmation 
for either employment now. 

My uncle left for the farm as usual, and 
to my delight I soon discovered that my 
aunt had gone with him. The wavs of the 
house were as regular as those of a bee-hive. 
Sitting in my own room, I knew precisely 
where any one must be at anv given mo- 
ment ; for although the only clock we had 
was oftener standing than going, a perfect 
instinct of time was common to the house- 
hold, Nannie included. At that moment 
she was sweeping up the hearth and puttins 
on the kettle. In naif an hour she would 
have tidied up the kitchen, and would 
have gone to prepare the vegetables for 
oooki^ : I must wait. But the sudden fear 
struck me that my aunt might have taken 
the sword with her — might be going to 
make away with it altogether. I started 
up, and rushed about the room in an asony. 
What could I do ? At length I heard Nan- 
nie*s pattens clatter out of the kitchen to 
a small outhouse where she pared the po- 
tatoes. I instantly descended, crossed the 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE. 



Ill 



kitchen, and went np the winding stone 
stair. I opened grannie's door, and went 
in. 

She was seated in her usnal place. 
Never till now had I felt how old she was. 
She looked up when I entered, for although 
she had grown very deaf^ she could feel 
the floor shake. I saw by her eyes which 
looked higher than my head, that she had 
expected a taller figure to follow me. 
When I turned from shutting the door, I 
saw her arms extended with an eager look 
and could see her hands trembling ere she 
folded them about me, and pressed my 
head to her bosom. 

*' O Lord 1 " she said, *' I thank thee. I 
wiU try to be eood now. O Lord, I have 
waited, and thou hast heard me. I will 
believe in thee again 1 " 

From that moment I loved my grannie, 
and felt I owed her something as well as 
my uncle. I had never had this feeling 
about my aunt. 

'* Grannie 1 " I said, trembling firom a 
conflict of emotions; but before I could 
titter my complaint, I had burst out cry- 
ing. 

"What have they been doing to you, 
child ? " she asked, almost fiercely, and sat 
up Btraieht in her chair. Her voice al- 
though feeble and quavering was detei^ 
mined in tone. She pushed me back from 
her and sought the mce I was ashamed to 
show. "What have they done to you, my 
boy ? " she repeated, ere I could conquer 
my sobs sufficiently to speak. 

"They have taken away the sword 
that " 

"What sword?" she asked, quickly. 
"Not the sword that your greaWrand- 
father wore when he followed Sir JVuurma- 
duke?" 

" I don't know, grannie." 

" Don't know, boy ? The only thing your 

father took when he Not the sword 

with the broken sheath? Never 1 They 
daren't do it 1 I will go down myself. I 
must see about it at once." 

" O grannie, don't I " I cried in terror, 
as she rose from her chair. " They'll not 
let me ever come near you again if you 
do." 

She sat down again. After seeming to 
ponder for a while in silence, she said : — 

" Well, Willie, my dear, you're more to 
me than the old sword. But I wouldn't 
have had it handled with disrespect for all 
that the place is worth. However I don't 
suppose they can What made them 

do it, child ? They've not taken it down 
from the wall?" 

" Yes, grannie. I think it was because I 



[ was staring at it too much, grannie. Per- 
haps they were afraid I would take it down 
and hurt myself with it. But I was only 
going to ask you about it. Tell me a story 
about it, grannie." 

All my notion was some story, I did not 
think whether true or false, like one of 
Nannie's stories. 

" That I will, my child — all about it — 
all about it. Let me see." 

Her eyes went wandering a little and 
she looked perplexed. 

" And they took it from you, did they, 
then ? Poor child I Poor child ! " 

" They didn't take it from me, grannie. 
Inever nad it in my hands." 

" Wouldn't give it you then ? Oh dear I 
Oh dear I" 

I began to feel uncomfortable — grannie 
looked so strange and lost. The old feel- 
ing that she ought to be buried because 
she was dead returned upon me; but I 
overcame it so far as to be able to say: 

" Won't you tell me about it then, gran- 
nie? I want so much to hear about the 
battle." 

"What battle, child? Oh yes I I'U teU 
you all about it some day, but I've forgot 
now, I've forgot it all now." 

She pressed l^r hand to her forehead, 
and sat thus for some time, while I grew 
very frightened. I would gladly have left 
the room and crept down stairs, but I stood 
fascinated, gazing at the withered face half- 
hidden by the withered hand. I longed to 
be anywhere else, but my will had deserted 
me, and there I must remain. At length 
grannie took her hand from her eyes, and 
seeing me, started. 

" j3i, my dear I " she said, " I had forgot- 
ten you. xou wanted me to do something 
for you : what was it ? " 

"I wanted you to tell me about the 
sword, grannie." 

" Oh yes, the sword 1 " she returned, 
putting her hand again to her forehead. 
" They took it away from you, did they ? 
Well, never mind. I will give you some- 
thing else — though I don't say it's as good 
as the sword." 

She rose, and taking an ivory-headed 
stick which leaned against the side of the 
chimney-piece, walked with tottering steps 
towards the bureau. There she took from 
her pocket a small bunch of keys, and hav- 
ing, with some difficulty from the trem- 
bling of her hands, chosen one, and un- 
locked the sloping cover, she opened a lit- 
tle drawer inside, and took out a sold 
watch with a bimch of seals hanging from 
it. Never shall I forget the tnriU that 
went through my frame. Did she mean to 



Digitized by 



Googk 



112 



WILFRID CUMBERHBDE. 



let me hold it in my own hand ? Might I 
have it as often as I came to see her? 
Imagine my ecstacy when she put it care- 
fiiUy in the two hands I held np to receive 
it, and said : 

** There, my dear 1 Yon must take ffood 
care of it, and never give it away for love 
or money. Don't you open it — there's a 
ffood boy, till you're a man like your 
father. He toas a man 1 He gave it to me 
the day we were married, for he had noth- 
ing else, he said, to offer me. But I would 
not take it^ mv dear. I liked better to see 
him with it than myself. And when he 
left me, I kept it for you. But you must 
take care of it, you know." 

" Oh, thank you, grannie 1 " I cried, in an 
Agony of pleasure. ** I toiU take care of 
it — indeed I will. Is it a real watch, 
grannie — as real as uncle's ? " 

** It's worth ten of your uncle's, my dear. 
Don't you show it him, though. He might 
take that away too. Your uncle's a very 
good man, my dear, but you mustn't mind 
everything he savs to you. He forgets 
things. I never forget anvthing. I have 
plenty of time to think about things. I 
never forget." 

" Will it go, grannie ? " I asked, for my 
uncle was a much less interesting subject 
than the watch. 

" It won't go without being wound up ; 
but you might break it. Besides, it may 
want cleaning. It's several years since it 
was cleaned last. Where wul you put it 
now?" 

*'Ohi I know where to hide it safe 
enough, p;rannie," I exclaimed. ^ Til take 
care of it. You needn't be i 
nie." 



afraid, gran- 



The old lady turned, and with difficulty 
tottered to her seat. I remained where I 
was, fixe<i in contemplation of my treasure. 
She called me. I went and stood by her 
knee. 

*'My child, there is Bomethins I want 
very much to tell you, but you know old 
people forget thinj^s " 

** But you said just now that you never 
forgot anything, grannie." 

*' No more I do, my dear ; only I can't 
always lay my hands upon a thing when I 
want it." 

**It was about the sword, grannie," I 
said, thinking to refresh her memory. 

<*No, my dear; I don't think it was 
about the sword exactly — though that 
had something to do with it. I shall re- 
member it aU by-and-by. It wUl come 
again. And so must you, my dear. Don't 
leave your old mother so long alone. 
It's weary, weary work, waiting." 



"Indeed I won't, grannie," I said. **I 
will come the very first time I can. Only 
I mustn't let auntie see me, yon know. — 
You don't want to be buried now, do you, 
grannie?" I added; for I had begun to 
love her, and the love had cast out the 
fear, and I did not want her to wish to be 
buried. 

" I am very, very old ; much too old to 
live, my dear. But I must io you justice 
before I can go to my grave. Now I know 
what I wanted to say. It's gone again. 
Oh dear ! Oh dear 1 K I had you in the 
middle of the nigl«t« when everything 
comes back as if it had been only yester- 
day, I could tell you all about it from be- 
ginning to end, with all the ins and outs 
of it. But I can't now — I can't now." 

She moaned and rocked herself to and 
fro. 

" Never mind, grannie," I said cheerful- 
ly, for I was happy enough for all eternity 
with my gold watch ; " I will come and see 
vou again as soon as ever I can." And I 
kissed her on the white cheek. 

" Thank you, my dear. I think you had 
better go now. They may miss you, and 
then I should never see you again — to 
talk to, I mean." 

" Why wont they let me come and see 
you, grannie ? " I asked. 

"ITiat's what I wanted to tell you, if I 
could only see a little better,^' she an- 
swered, once more putting her hand to 
her forehead. " Perhaps I shall be able to 
tell you next time. Uo now, my dear." 

I left the room, nothing loath, for I 
longed to be alone with my treasure. I 
could not get enough of it in grannie's 

Sresence even. Noiseless as a bat I crept 
own ^e stair. When I reached the door 
at the foot I stood and listened. The 
kitchen was quite silent. I stepped out. 
There was no one there. I scudded 
across and up the other stair to my own 
room, carefully shutting the door behind 
me. Then I sat down on the floor on the 
other side of the bed, so that it was be- 
tween me and the door, and I could run 
into the closet with my treasure before 
any one entering should see me. 

The watch was a very thick round one. 
The back of it was crowded with raised 
figures in the kind of work called repoussee. 
I pored over these for a long time, and then 
turned to the face. It was set all round 
with shining stones — diamonds, though I 
knew nothing of diamonds then. The en- 
amel was cracked, and I followed every 
crack as well as every figure of the hours. 
Then I began to wonder what I could do 
with it next. I was not satisfied. Poa- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBERHEDB. 



113 



session I found was not bliss : it had not 
rendered me content. But it was as yet 
imperfect: I had not seen the inside. 
Grannie had told me not to open it : I be- 
gan to think it hard that I should be de- 
nied thorough possession of what had been 
given to me. 1 believed I should be quite 
satisfied if I once saw what made it go. I 
turned it over and over, thinking I might 
at least find how it was opened. I have 
little doubt if I had discovered the secret 
of it, my virtue would have failed me. AU 
I did find, however, was the head of a cu- 
rious animal engraved on the handle. 
This was something. I examined it as care- 
fully as the rest, and then finding I had 
for the time exhausted the pleasures of 
the watch, I turned to the seals. On one 
of them was engraved what looked like 
letters, but I could not read them. I did 
not know that they were turned the 
wrong way. One of them was like a W. 
On the other seal — there were but two 
and a curiously-contrived key — I found 
the same head as was engraved on the 
handle, — turned the other way of course. 
Wearied at length, I took the precious 
thing into the dark closet, and laid it in a 
little box which formed one of my few pos- 
sessions. I then wandered out into the 
field, and went straying about imtil din- 
ner-time, during wmch I believe I never 
once lifted my eyes to the place where the 
sword had hung, lest even that action 
should betray the watch. 

From that day, my head, and as much 
of my heart as might be, were filled with 
the watch. And alas 1 I soon found that 
my book-mending had grown distasteful 
to me, and for the satisfaction of employ- 
ment, possession was a poor substitute. 
As often as I made the attempt to resume 
it, I got weary, and wandered almost 
involuntarily to the closet to feel for my 
treasure in the dark, handle it once more, 
and bring it out into the lisht. Already 
I began to dree the doom of riches, in the 
vain attempt to live by that which was 
not bread. Nor was this all. A certain 
weight besan to eather over my spirit — 
a sense ahnost of wrong. For although 
the watch had been given me by my 
grandmother, and I never doubted either 
ner right to dispose of it or my right to 
possess it, I could not look my. uncle in 
the face, partly from a vague fear lest he 
should read mv secret in my eyes, partly 
from a sense of something out of jomt be- 
tween him and me. I began to fajicy, and 
I believe I was right, that he looked at me 
sometimes with a wistfulness I had never 
seen in his face before. This made me so 

UYINO AOK. VOL. XX. 894 



uncomfortable that I began to avoid his 
presence as much as possible. And 
although I tried to please him with my 
lessons, I could not learn them as hither- 
to. 

One dav he asked me to bring him the 
book I had been repairing. 

^ It's not finisheot yet, uncle," I said. 

" Will you bring it me, just as it is ? I 
want to look for something in it." 

I went and brought it with shame. He 
took it, and having found the passage he 
wanted, turned the volume once over in 
his hands, and gave it me back without a 
word. 

Next day! restored it to him finished 
and tidy. He thanked me, looked it over 
again, and put it in its place. But I fairly 
encountered an inquiring and somewhat 
anxious gaze. I beueve he had a talk with 
my aunt about me that night. 

The next morning, I was seated by the 
bedside, with my secret in my hand, when 
I thought I heard the sound of the door- 
handle, and glided at once into the closet. 
When I came out in a flutter of anxiety, 
there was no one there. But I had been 
too much startled to return to what I had 
grown to feel almost a guilty pleasure. 

The next iftoming after breakfast, I 
crept into the closet, put my hand unerr- 
ingly into the one corner of the box, found 
no watch, and after an unavailing search, 
sat down in the dark on a bundle of rags, 
with the sensations of a ruined man. My 
world was withered up and gone. How 
the day passed, I cannot teU. How I got 
through my meals, I cannot even imagine. 
When I look back and attempt to recall 
the time, I see but a cloudy waste of 
misery crossed by the lightning-streaks 
of a sense of injury. All that was left me 
now was a cat-like watching for the chance 
of going to my grandmother. Into her 
ear I would pour the tale of my wrong. 
She who had been as a haunting discom- 
fort to me, had grown to be my one con- 
solation. 

My lessons went on as usuaL A certain 
pride enabled me to learn them tolerably 
for a day or two; but when that faded, 
my whole being began to flag. For some 
time my existence was a kmd of life in 
death. At length one evening my uncle 
said to me, as we finished my lessons far 
from satisfiictorily — 

" Willie, your aunt and I think it better 
you should go to schooL We shall be 
very sonr to part with you, but it will be 
better. Tou wiU then have companions 
of your own age. You have not enough 
to amuse you at home.** 



Digitized by 



Googk 



114 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE. 



He did not allude by a single word to 
the afiair of the watch. Comd my aunt 
have taken it, and never told him? It 
was not likely. 

I was deUghted at the idea of any 
change, for my life had grown irksome to 
me. 

"0, thank you, uncle I" I cried, with 
genuine expression. 

I think he looked a little sad ; but he 
uttered no reproach. 

My aunt and he had already arranged 
everything. The next day but one, I saw, 
for the £&8t time, a carriage drive up to 
the door of the house. I was waiting for 
it impatiently. My new clothes hi^ all 
been packed m a little box. I had not put 
in a single toy : I cared for nothing I had 
now. The box was put up beside the 
driver. My aunt came to the door where 
I was waiting for my uncle. 

^* Mayn't I go and say good-bye to gran- 
nie? "I aske£ 

" She's not very well to-day," said my 
aunt. '* I think you had better not. Tou 
will be back at Christmas, you know." 

I was not so much grieved as I ouffht to 
have been. The loss of my watch had 
made the thought of ^pannie painful 
again. 

" Your uncle will meet you at the road," 
continued my aunt, seeing me still hesi- 
tate. "Good-bye." 

I received her cold embrace without 
emotion, clambered into the chaise, and 
looking out as the driver shut the door, 
wondered what my aunt was holding her 
apron to her eyes for, as she turned away 
into the house. My uncle met us and ^ot 
in, and away the chaise rattled, bearmg 
me towards an utterly new experience; 
for hardly could the strangest region in 
foreign lands be more unknown to the 
wanc^ring mariner than the faces and 
ways of even my own kind were to me. 
I had never plaved for one half-hour with 
boy or girl. I knew nothine of their play- 
things or their eames. I hardly knew 
what boys were uke, except, outwardly, 
from the dim reflex of myself in the broken 
mirror in my bed-room, whose lustre was 
more of the ice than the pool, and, inward- 
ly, from the partly exceptional exjperienoes 
of my own nature, with even which I was 
poorly enough acquainted. 

CHAPTER Vm. 

I GO TO SCHOOL, AND ORANNIB 
LEAVES IT. 

It is an evil thing to break up a family 
before the natural period of its aissolution. 



In the course of things, marriage, the 
necessities of maintenance, or the energies 
of labour guiding 'Ho fi^sh woods and 
pastures new," are the ordered causes of 
sepiuration. 

Where the home is happy, much injury 
is done the children in sending them to 
school, except it be a day-school, whither 
they go in the morning as to the labours 
of the world, but whence they return at 
night as to the heaven of repose. Conflict 
through the day, rest at nignt, is the ideaL 
A day-school will suffice for the cultivation 
of the necessary public or national spirit, 
without which the love of the family may 
degenerate into a pierely extended selfish- 
ness, but which is itself founded upon 
those family affections. At the same 
time, it must be confessed that boarding- 
schools are, in many cases, an antidote to 
some of the evil conditions which exist at 
home. 

To children whose home is a happy one, 
the exile to a school must be bitter. Mine, 
however, was an unusual experience. 
Leavinz aside the specially troubled state 
in whidi I was when thus carried to the 
village of Aldwick, I had few of the finer 
elements of the ideal home in mine. The 
love of my childish heart had never been 
drawn out. My grandmother had begun 
to do so, but her influence had been speed- 
ily arrested. I was, as they say of cats, 
more attached to the place than the people, 
and no regrets whatever interfered to quell 
the excitement of expectation, wonder, 
and curiosity which filled me on the jour- 
ney. The motion of the vehicle, the sound 
of the horses' hoofs, the travellers we 
passed on the road — all seemed to par- 
take of the exuberant life which swelled 
and overflowed in me. Everything was 
as happy, as excited, as I was. 

When we entered the village, behold it 
was a region of glad tumult ! Were there 
not three dogs, two carts, a maid carrying 
pails of water, and several groups of. frol- 
icking children in the street — not to men- 
tion live ducks, and a glimpse of grazing 
geese on the common ? There were also 
two movers at their cottage-doors, each 
with a baby in her arms. I knew they 
were babies, although I had never seen a 
baby before. And when we drove throuff h 
the big wooden gate and stopped at the 
door of what ^ h£l been the manor-house 
but was now Mr. Elder's school, the aspect 
of the building, half covered with ivv, bore 
to me a most friendly look. Still more 
firiendly was the face of the master's wife, 
who received us in a low dark parlour, 
with a thick soft carpet, and rich red cur- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE. 



115 



tains. It was a perfect paradise to my 
ima^nation. Nor did the appearance of 
Mr. Mder at aU jar with the vision of com- 
ing happiness. His round, rosy, spectacled 
face bore in it no premonitory suggestion 
of birch or rod, and, although I continued 
at his school for six years, I never saw him 
use either. If a boy reouired that kind of 
treatment, he sent him home. When my 
uncle left me, it was in more than content- 
ment with my lot. Nor did anything occur 
to p.Itcr my feeling with regard to it. I soon 
became much attached to Mrs. Elder. She 
was just the woman for a schoolmaster's 
wife — as full of maternity as she could hold, 
but childless. By the end of the first day 
I thought I loved her far more than my 
aunt. My aunt had done her duty towards 
me; but how was a child to weigh that? 
I^e had taken no trouble to make me love 
her ; she had shown me none of the signs 
of affection, and I could not appreciate the 
proofs of it yet. 

I soon perceived a great difference be- 
tween my uncle's way of teaching and that 
of Mr. Elder. .My uncle always appeared 
aware of something behind which pressed 
upon, perhaps hurried, the fact he was 
making me understand. He made me feel, 
perhaps too much, that it was a mere step 
towanis something beyond. Mr. Elder, 
on the other hand, placed every ^oint in 
such a strong light tnat it seemed in itself 
of primary consequence. Both were, if 
my judgment after so many years be cor- 
rect, admirable teachers — my uncle the 
greater, my schoolmaster the more immedi- 
ately efficient. As I was a manageable 
boy to the very verge of weakness, the 
relations between us were entirely pleas- 
ant. 

There were only six more pupils, all of 
them sufficiently older than myself to be 
ready to pet and indulge me. No one 
who saw me mounted on the back of the 
eldest, a lad of fifteen, and driving four of 
them in hand, while the sixth ran along-. 
side as an outrider — could have wondered 
that I should find school better than home. 
Before the first day was over, the sorrows 
of the lost watch and sword had vanished 
utterly. For what was possession to be- 
ing possessed ? What was a watch, even 
hiul it been going, to the movements of 
life? To peep from the wicket in the 
great gate out upon the village-street, 
with the well in the middle of it, and a girl 
in the sunshine winding up the green drip- 
ping bucket from the unxnown depths of 
coolness, was more than a thousand 
watches. But this was by no means the 
extent of my new survey of things. One 



I were more fit than I. 
ini 



of the causes of Mr. Elder's keeping no boy 
who required chastisement was his own 
love of freedom, and his consequent de- 
sire to give the boys as much liberty out 
of school hours as possible. He believed 
in freedom. ** The great end of training," 
I he said to me many years after, when he 
was quite an old man, " is liberty ; and the 
sooner you can get a boy to be a law to 
himself, the sooner you make a man of 
him. This end is impossible without free- 
, dom. Let those who have no choice, or 
I who have not the same end in view, do the 
I best they can with such boys as they find : 
' I chose only such as could bear liberty. I 
I never set up as a reformer — only as ah 
I educator. For that kind of work others 
It was not my call- 
Hence Mr. Elder no more aUowed 
labour to intrude upon play, than play to 
intrude upon labour. As soon as lessons 
were over, we were firee to so where we 
would and do what we woul(£ under ceiv 
tain general restrictions, which had more 
to do with social proprieties than with 
school regulations. We roamed the coun- 
try from tea-time till sun-down ; sometimes 
in the summer long after that. Some- 
times also on moonlit nights in winter, 
occasionally even when the stars and the 
snow gave the only light, we were allowed 
the same liberty until nearly bedtime. 
Before Christmas came, variety, exercise, 
and social blessedness had wrought upon 
me so that when I returned home^, my 
uncle and aunt were astonished at the 
change in me. I had grown half a head, 
and the paleness, which thev had consid- 
ered a peculiar accident oi my appear- 
ance, had given place to a rosy glow. My 
flitting step too had vanished : I soon be- 
came aware that I made more noise than 
my aunt liked, for in the old house silence 
was in its very temple. My uncle, how- 
ever, would only smile and say — 

" Don't bring the place about our ears, 
Willie, my boy. I should like it to last 
my time." 

'* I'm afraid," my aunt would interpose, 
" Mr. Elder doesn't keep very good order 
in his school." 

Then I would fire up in defence of the 
master, and my uncle would sit and listen, 
looking both pleased and amused. 

I hfui not oeen many moments in the 
house before I said — 

"Mayn't I run up and see grannie, 
uncle?" 

" I will go and see how she is," my aunt . 
said, rising. 

She went, and presently returning, 
said — 



Digitized by 



Googk 



116 



WILFRID CUMBBRMBDE. 



'* Grannie seems a little better. Tou 
may come. She wants to see you." 

I followed her. When I entered the 
room and looked expectantly towards her 
usual place, I found her chair empty. I 
turned to the bed. There she was, and I 
thought she looked much the same ; but 
when I came nearer, I perceived a change 
in her countenance. She welcomed me 
feebly, stroked my hair and my cheeks, 
smiled sweetly, and closed her eyes. My 
aunt led me away. 

When bedtime came, I went to my own 
room, and was soon fast asleep. What 
roused me, I do not know, but I awoke in 
the midst of the darkness, and the next 
moment I heard a groan. It thrilled me 
with horror. I sat up in bf-d and listened, 
but heard no more. As I sat listening, 
heedless of the cold, the explanation 
dawned upon me, for my powers of reflec- 
tion and combination had been developed 
by my enlarged experience of life. In our 
many wanderings, I had learned to choose 
between roads and to make conjectures 
from the lie of the country. I had like- 
wise lived in a ikr larger house than my 
home. Hence now it dawned upon me, 
for the first time, that grannie's room 
must be next to mine, although approached 
from the other side, and that the groan 
must have been hers. She might be in 
need of help. I remembered at ^e same 
time how she had wished to have me by 
her in the middle of the night, that she 
might be able to tell me what she could 
not recall in the day. I got up at once, 
dressed myself, and stole down the one 
stair, across the kitchen, and up the other. 
I gently opened grannie's door and peeped 
in. A flro was burning in the room. I 
entered and approached the bed. I 
wonder how I had the courage ; but chil- 
dren more than grown people are moved 
by unlikely impulses. Grannie lay breath- 
ing heavily. I stood for a moment. Hie 
faint light flickered over her white face. 
It was the middle of the night, and the 
tide of fear, inseparable from the night, be- 
gan to rise. My old fear of her began 
to return with it. But she lifted her uds, 
and the terror ebbed away. 

She looked at me, but did not seem to 
know me. I went nearer. 

*' Grannie," I said, close to her ear, and 
speaking low, *^ you wanted to see me at 
night — that was before I went to schooL 
I'm here, grannie." 

The sheet was folded back so smooth 
that she could hardly have turned over 
since it had been arranged for the niffht. 
Her hand was lying upon it. She lifted it 



i^bly and stroked my (dieek once more. 
Her lips murmured something which I 
could not hear, and then came a deep sigh, 
almost a groan. The terror returned 
when I found she could not speak to 
me. 

<< Shall I go and fetch auntie? " I whis- 
pered. 

She shook her head feebly, and looked 
wistfully at me. Her lips moved again. 
I ffuessed that she wanted me to sit be- 
side her. I got a chair, placed it by the 
bedside, and sat down. She put out her 
hand, as if searching for something. I 
laid mine in it. She closed her Angers 
upon it and seemed satisfied. When I 
looked again, she was asleep and breath- 
ing quieUy. I was afraid to take my hand 
from hers lest I should wake her. I laid 
my head on the side of the bed, and was 
soon fast asleep also. 

I was awaked bv a noise in the room. 
It was Nannie lighting the fire. When 
she saw me she gave a cry of terror. 

^Hush, Nannie 1" I said; "you will 
wake grannie ; " and as I spoke I rose, for 
I found mj hand was free. 

" Oh, Master Willie I " said Nannie, in a 
low voice ; " how did you come here ? 
Tou sent my heart into my mouth." 

** Swallow it again, Nannie," I answered, 
^and don't tell auntie. I came to see 
grannie, and fell asleep. I'm rather cold. 
I'll go to bed now. Auntie's not up, is 
she?" 

" No. It's not time for anybody to be 
up yet." 

Nannie ought to have spent the night in 
grannie's room, for it was her turn to 
watch ; but finding her nicely asleep as she 
thought, she had slipped away for just an 
hour of comfort in bed. The hour had 
ffrown to three. When she returned the 
nre was out. 

When I came down to breakfast, the 
solemn look upon my uncle's face caused 
me a foreboding of change. 

" €rod has ta^en grannie away in the 
night, Willie," said he, holding the hand I 
hM placed in his. 

"Is she dead? "I asked. 

" Tes," he answered. 

" Oh, then, you will let her go to her 
grave now, won't you? " I said — the rec- 
ollection of her old grievance coming first 
in association with her death, and occasion- 
ing a more childish speech than belonged 
to my years. 

"Yes. Shell ttet to her grave now," 
said my aunt, with a trembling in her voice 
i I had never heard before. 

"No," objected my uncle. "Her body 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBEBMEDB. 



117 



wil] go to the graye, but her soul will go 
to heaven." 

** Her soul I " I said, « What's that ? " 

"Dear me, Willie! don't you know 
that ? " said my aunt. ** Don't you know 
youVe got a soul as well as a body ? " 

" Fm sure / haven't," I returned. « What 
was grannie's like ? " 

** 'fiiat I can't tell you," she answered. 

«* Have you got one, auntie ? " 

" Yes." 

** What is yours like then ? " 

« I don't know." 

" But," I said, turning to my uncle, "if 
her body goes to the grave, and her soul to 
heaven, what's to become of poor grannie 
— without either of them you see ? " 

My uncle had been thinking while we 
talked. 

" TTiat can't be the way to represent the 
thing, Jane : it nuzzles the child. No, 
Willie ; grannie's Dody goes to the grave, 
but grannie herself is gone to heaven. 
What people cidl her soul is just grannie 
herself" 

** Why don't they say so, then ? " 

My uncle fell a thinking asain. He did 
not, however, answer this last question, 
for I suspect he found that it would not be 
good for me to know the real cause — 
namely ^at people hardly believed it, and 
therefore did not say it. Most people be- 
lieve far more in their bodies than in their 
souls. What my uncle did say, was — 

" I hardly know. But grannie's gone to 
heaven anyhow." 

"I'm so glad!" I said. "She will he 
more comfortable there. She was too old, 
you know, uncle." 

He made me no reply. My aunt^s apron 
was covering her face, and when she took 
it away, I observed that those eager al- 
most angry eyes were red with weeping. 
I began to feel a movement at my heart, 
the first fluttering physical sign of a wak- 
ing love towards her. 

" Don't cry, auntie," I said. " I don't see 
anything to cry about. Grannie has got 
what she wanted." 

She made me no answer, and I sat down 
to my breakfast. I don't (mow how it was, 
but 1 could not eat it. I rose and took my 
way to the hollow in the field. I felt a 
strange excitement, not sorrow. Grannie 
was actually dead at last. I did not quite 
know what it meant. I had never seen a 
dead body. Neither did I know that she 
had died while I slept with my hand in 
hers. Nannie had found her quite cold. 
Had we been a talking family, I might 
have been uneasy until I had told the story 
of my last interview with her ; but I never 



thought of saying a word about it. I can- 
not help thii^ing now that 1 was waked 
up and sent to the old woman, my great 
grandmother, in the middle of the night, 
to help her to die in comfort. Who knows ? 
What we can neither prove nor compre- 
hend forms, I suspect, the infinitely larger 
part of our being. 

When I was taken to see what remained 
of grannie, I experienced nothinc of the 
dismay which some children feel at the 
sight of death. It was as if she had seen 
something just in time to leave the look of 
it behind her there, and so the final ex- 
pression was a revelation. For a while 
there seems to remain this one link 
between some dead bodies and their liv- 
ing spirits. But my aunt, with a common 
superstition, would have me touch the 
face. Hiat, I confess, made me shudder : 
the cold of death is so unlike any other 
cold 1 I seemed to feel it in my hand all 
the rest of the day. 

I saw what seemed grannie-^ I am too 
near death myself to consent to call a dead 
body the man or the woman — laid in the 
grave for which she had longed, and re- 
turned home with a sense that somehow 
there was a barrier broken down between 
me and my uncle and aunt. I felt as near 
my uncle now as I had ever been. That 
evening he did not go to his own room, 
but sat with my aunt and me in the kitchen- 
hall. We pulled the great high-backed 
oaken settle before the fire, and my aunt 
made a great blaze, for it was very cold. 
They sat one in each corner, and I sat be- 
tween tiiem, and told them many things 
concerning the school. They asked me 
questions and encouraged my prattle, 
seeming well pleased that the old silence 
should be broken. I fancy I brought them 
a little nearer to each other that mght. It 
was after a funeral, and yet they both 
looked happier than I had ever seen them 
before. 

CHAPTER IX. 
I Sm AXD REPENT. 

The Christmas holidays went by more 
rapidly than I had expected. I betook 
myself with enlarged faculty to my book- 
mending, and more than ever enjoyed mak- 
ing my uncle's old volumes tidy. When I 
returned to school, it was with real sorrow 
at parting from my uncle; and even 
towards my aunt I now felt a growing 
attraction. 

I shall not dwell upon my school history. 
That would be to spin out my narrative 
unnecessarily. I shall only relate such 



Digitized by 



Googk 



118 



WILFRID CUMBBRMSDE. 



occurrences as are guide-posts in the di- 
rection of those main events which proper- 
ly constitute my history. 

I had been about two years with Mr. 
Elder. The usual holidays had intervened, 
upon which occasions I found the pleas- 
ures of home so multiplied by increase of 
liberty and the enlarged confidence of 
my uncle, who took me about with him 
everywhere, that they were now almost 
capable of rivalling those of school. But 
before I relate an incident which occurred 
in the second autumn, I must sa^ a few 
words about my character at this tune. 

My reader will please to remember that 
I had never been driven, or oppressed in 
any way. The affair of the watch was 
quite an isolated instance, and so immedi- 
ately followed by the change and fresh life 
of school, that it had not left a mark be- 
hind. Nothing had yet occurred to gener- 
ate in me any fear before the face of man. 
I had been vaguely uneasy in relation to 
my grandmother, but that uneasiness had 
almost vanished before her death. Hence 
the faith natural to childhood had received 
no check. My aunt was at worst cold; 
she had never been harsh; while over 
Nannie I was absolute ruler. The only 
time that evil had threatened me, I had 
been faithfuUv defended by my guardian 
uncle. At school, while I found mvself 
more under law, I yet found myself pos- 
sessed of greater freedom. Everyone 
was friendly and more than kind. From 
all this the result was that my nature was 
unusually trusting. 

We had a whole holidav, and, all seven, 
set out to eojoy ourselves. It was a 
delicious morning in autumn, clear and 
cool, with a great light in the east, and 
the west nowhere. Neither the autumnal 
tints, nor the sharpening wind had any 
sadness in those young years which we 
call the old years afterwards. How 
strange it seems to have — all of us — to 
say with the Jewish poet: I have been 
yoimg and now am old I A wood in the 
distance, rising up the slope of a hill, was 
our go^ for we were after hazel-nuts. 
Frolicking, scampering, leaping over stiles, 
we felt the road vamsh under our feet. 
When we gained the wood, although we 
failed in our quest, we found plenty of 
amusement; that grew everywhere. At 
length it was time to return, and we re- 
solved on going home by another road — 
one we did not know. 

After walking a good distance, we ar- 
rived at a gate and lodge, where we 
stopped to inquire the way. A kind-faced 
woman informed us that we should shorten ' 



it much by going through the park, which, 
as we seemed respectable boys, she would 
allow U3 to do. We thanked her, entered, 
and went walking along a smooth road, 
through open sward, clumps of trees, and 
an occasional piece of artful neglect in 
the shape of rough hillocks covered with 
wild shrubs, such as briar and broom. It 
was very delightful, and we T^alked alons 
merrily. I can yet recall the individutl 
shapes of certain hawthorn trees we 
passed, whose extreme age had found ex- 
pression in a wild grotesqueness, which 
would have been ridiculous, but for a dim, 
painful resemblance to the distortion of 
old age in the human family. 

After walking some distance, we began 
to doubt whetner we might not have 
missed the way to the gate of which the 
woman had spoken. For a waU appeared, 
which, to judge from the tree-tops visible 
over it, must surround a kitchen garden 
or orchard ; and from this we feared we 
had come too nijeh the house. We had 
not gone much mrther before a branch, 
projecting over the wall, from whose tip, 
as if the tempter had gone back to his old 
tricks, hung a rosy-cheeked apple, drew 
our eyes and arrested our steps. There 
are grown people who cannot, without an 
effort of the imagination, figure to them- 
selves the attraction between a boy and 
an apple ; but I suspect there »Te others 
the memories of whose boyish freaks will 
rend,er it yet more difficult for them to 
understana a sinzle moment's contempla- 
tion of such an object without the endeav- 
our to appropriate it. To them the boy 
seems made for the apple, and the apple 
for the boy. Rosy, round-faced, spectacled 
Mr. Elder, however, had such a fine sense 
of honour in himself that he had been to a 
rare degree successful in developing a 
similar sense in his boys, and I do oeUeve 
that not one of us would, under any cir- 
cumstances, except possibly those of terri- 
fying compulsion, have piOled that apple. 
We stood in rapt contemplation for a few 
moments, and then walked away. But 
although there are no degrees in Virtue, 
who will still demand her uttermost far- 
thing, there are degrees in the virtuoua- 
ness of human beings. 

As we walked away, I was the last, and 
was just passing from under the branch 
when something struck the ground at my 
heeL I turned. An apple must fall some 
time, and for this apple that some time 
was then. It lay at my feet. I lifted it 
and stood gazing at it — I need not say 
with admiration. My mind fell a working. 
The adversary was there and the angel 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBERMBDB. 



119 



too. The apple had dropped at my feet ; 
I had not pulled it. There it would lie 
wastiDg, if some one with less riffht than I 
— said the prinoe of special pleaders — 
was not the second to find it. Besides, 
what fell in the road was public property. 
Onl^ this was not a i>ublic road, the angel 
reminded me. My will fluttered from side 
to side, now turning its ear to my con- 
science, now turning away and hearKening 
to my impulse. At last, weary of the 
strife, I determined to settle it by a just 
contempt of trifles — and, half in despera- 
tion, bit into the ruddy cheek. 

The moment I saw the wound my teeth 
had made, I knew what I had done, and my 
heart died within me. I was self-con- 
demned. It was a new and an awful sen- 
sation — a sensation that could not be for 
a moment endured. The misery was too 
intense to leave room for repentance even. 
With a sudden resolve born of despair, I 
shoved the type of the broken law into my 
Docket and followed my oomi>anion8. But 
I kept at some distance behind them, for 
as yet I dared not hold fieirther communica- 
tion with respectable people. I did not, 
and do not now believe, that there was one 
amongst them who would have done as I 
had done. Probably also not one of them 
would have thought of my way of deliver- 
ance from unendurable self-contempt. 
The curse iiad passed upon me, but I saw 
away of escape. 

A few yards further, they found the 
road we thought we had missed. It struck 
off into a hollow, the sides of which were 
covered with trees. As they turned into 
it they looked back and called me to come 
on. I ran as if I wanted to overtake them, 
but the moment they were out of sight, 
left the road for the grass, and set off at 
full speed in the same direction as before. 
I had not gone far before I was in the 
midst of trees, overflowing the hollow in 
which my companions hiul dissopeared, 
and spreading themselves over tne level 
above. As I entered tneir shadow, my 
old awe of the trees returned upon me — 
an awe I had nearly forgotten, but revived 
by my crime. I pressed along, however, 
for to turn back would have oeen more 
dreadful than any fear. At length, with a 
sudden turn, the road left the trees be- 
hind, and what a scene opened before 
met I stood on the verge of a large 
space of greensward, smooth and well-kept 
as a lawn, but somewhat irregular in sur- 
face. From all sides it rose towards ihe 
centre. There a broad, low rock seemed 
to grow out of it, and upon the rock stood 
the lordliest house my childish eyes had 



ever beheld. Take situation and all, and 
I have scarcely yet beheld one to equal it. 
Half-castle, half old English countiy seat, 
it covered the rock with a huee square of 
building, from various parts of wmch rose 
towers, mostly square also, of different 
heights. I stood for one brief moment 
entranced with awful delight. A building 
which has grown for ages, the outcome <^ 
the life of powerful generations, has about 
it a miy'esty which, in certain moods, is 
overpowering. For one brief moment I 
forgot my sin and its sorrow. But mem- 
ory awoke with a fresh pang. To this 
lordly place I, poor miseraole sinner, was 
a debtor by wrong and shame. Let no 
one laugh at me because my sin was small : 
it was enough for me, being that of one 
who had stolen fur the first time, and that 
without previous declension, and searing 
of the conscience. I hurried towards the 
building, anxiously looking for some en- 
trance. 

I had approached so near that, seated 
on its rock, it seemed to shoot its towers 
into the zenith, when roundiuff a comer, I 
came to a part where the height sank 
from the foundation of the house to the 
level by a grassv slope, and at the foot of 
the slope, espiea an elderly gentleman, in 
a white hat, who stood with his hands in 
his breeches-pockets, looking about him. 
He was tall and stout, and carried himself 
in what seemed to me a stately manner. 
As I drew near him I felt somewhat en- 
couraged by a glimpse of his face, which 
was rubicund and, I thought, good-na- 
tured ; but, approaclung him rather from 
behind, I could not see it wclL When I 
addressed him, he started. 

"Please, sir," I said, "is this your 
house ? " . 

" Yes, my man ; it is my house," he an- 
swered, looking down on me with bent 
neck, his hands still in his pockets. 

" Please, sir," I said, but here my voice 
began to tremble, and he grew dim and 
large through the veil of my gathering 
tears. I hesitated. 

" Well, what do you want? " he asked, 
in a tone half jocular, half kind. 

I made a great effort and recovered my 
self-possession. 

"Please, sir," I repeated, "I want you 
to box my ears." 

"Well, you are a funny fellow 1 What 
should I box your ears for, pray ? " 

" Because I've been very wicked," I an- 
swered; and, putting my hand in my 
pocket, I extracted the bitten apple, and 
held it up to him. 

" Ho 1 ho ! " he said, beginning to guess 



Digitized by 



Googk 



120 



WILFRID CUMBBRMBDE. 



what I most mean, bnt hardly the less be- 
wildered for that; ^is that one of my 
apples ? " 

" Yes, sir. It fell down from a branch 
that hung over the wall. I took it np, and 
— and — I took a bite of it, and — and — 
I'm so sorry I " 

Here I burst into a fit of crying which I 
choked as much as I could. I remember 
quite well how, as I stood holding out the 
apple, m^ arm would shako with the vio- 
lence of my sobs. 

**Ym not fond of bitten apples," he 
said. *^ You had better eat it up now." 

This brought me to myself. If he had 
shown me sympathy, I should have gone 
on crying. 

**I would rather not. Please box my 
ears." 

" I don't want to box your ears. You're 
welcome to the apple. Only don't take 
what's not your own another time." 

^ But, please, sir, I'm so miserable I " 

"Home with you I and eat your ap- 
ple as you go," was his unconsoling re- 
sponse. 

'*! can't eat it; Fm so ashamed of my- 
self." 

^* When people do wrong, I suppose 
they must be ashamed of themselyes. 
That's all right, isn't it V " 

•* Why won't you box my ears, then ? " I 
persisted. 

It was my sole but unayailing prayer. 
He turned away towards the house. My 
trouble rose to a^ony. I made some wild 
motion of despair, and threw myself on 
the grass. He turned, looked at me for a 
moment in silence, and then said in a 
changed tone — 

"My boy, I am sorry for you. I beg 
you will not trouble yourself any more. 
The affair is not worth it. Such a trifle 1 
What can I do for you ? " 

I ffot up. A new thought of possible re- 
lief had crossed my mind. 

" Please, sir, if you won't box my ears, 
will you shake hands with me ? " 

" To be sure I will," he answered, hold- 
ing out his hand, and giving mine a very 
kindly shake. ** Where do you live ? " 

"lam at school at Aldwick, at Mr. El- 
der's." 

" You're a lone way from home ! " 

"Am I sir? Will you tell me how to 
go ? But it's of no consequence. I don't 
mind anything now you've forgiven me. 
I shall soon run home." 

" Come with me first. You must have 
something to eat." 

I wanted nothing to eat, but how could 
I oppose anything he said ? I followed him 



at once, drying my eyes as I went. He led 
me to a great gate which I had passed be- 
fore, ana openine a wicket, took me across 
a court, and through another building 
where I saw many servants going about; 
then across a second court which was paved 
with large fiags, and so to a door which he 
opened, calling — 

"Mrs. Wilson 1 Mrs. Wilson t I want you 
a moment." 

"Yes, Sir Giles," answered a tall, stiff- 
looking, elderly woman who presently ap- 
peared descending, with upright spine, a 
corkscrew staircase of stone. 

" Here is a youns gentleman, Mrs. Wil- 
son, who seems to have lost his way. He 
is one of Mr. Elder's pupils at Aldwick. 
Will you get him something to eat and 
drink, and then send him home ? " 

"I will, Sir Giles." 

"Good-bye, my man," said Sir Giles, 
again shaking hands with me. Then turn- 
ing anew to the housekeeper, for such I 
found she was, he added : 

" Couldn't you find a bag for him, and 
fill it with some of those brown pippins? 
They're good eating, ain't they? " 

"With pleasure. Sir Giles." 

Thereupon Sir Giles withdrew, doaing 
the door behind him, and leaving me with 
the sense of life from the dead. 

" What's your name, young gentleman ? " 
asked Mrs. Wilson, with, I thought, some 
degree of sternness. 

" Wilfrid Cumbermede," I answered. 

She stared at me a little, with a stare 
which would have been a start in most 
women. I was by this time calm enough 
to take a auiet look at her. She was 
dressed in black silk, with a white necker- 
chief crossing in front, and black mittens 
on her hands. After gazing at me fi.xedly 
for a moment or two, Ae turned away and 
ascended the stair, which went up straight 
from the door, sayiuff — 

"Come with me. Master Cumbermede. 
You must have some tea before you ro." 

I obeyed, and followed her into a long, 
low-ceiled room, wainscotted all over in 
panels, with a square moulding at the top, 
which served for a cornice. The ceiling 
was ornamented with plaster relics. The 
windows looked out, on one side into the 
court, on the other upon the park. The 
fioor was black and polished like a mirror, 
with bits of carpet nere and there, and a 
rug before the curious old-fashioned grate, 
where a little fire was burning and a small 
kettle boiling fiercely on the top of it. The 
tea tray was already on the table. She got 
another cup and saucer, added a pot of jam 
to the preparations, and said : 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE. 



121 



** Sit down and have some bread and but- 
ter, while I make the tea." 

She cut me a great piece of bread, and 
then a great piece of bntter, and I lost no 
time in discorering that the quality was 
worthy of the quantity. Mrs. Wilson kept 
a grave silence for a good while. At last, 
as she was pouring out the second cup, she 
looked at me over the tea-pot, and said — 

**You don't remember your mother, I 
suppose, Master Cumbermede ? " 

"No, ma'am. I never saw my mother." 

"Within your recollection, you mean. 
But you must have seen her, for you were 
two years old when she died." 

" Did you know my mother, then, 
ma'am ? " I asked, but without any great 
surprise, for the events of the day had been 
BO much out of the ordinary, that I had for 
the time lost the faculty of wonder. 

She compressed her thin lips^ and a per- 
pendicular wrinkle appeared m the middle 
of her forehead, as sine answered — 

"Yes; I knew your mother." 

" She was very good, wasn't she, 
ma'am?" I said with my mouth full of 
bread and butter. 

" Yes. Who told you that ? " 

"I was sure of it. Nobody ever told 
me." 

" Did they never talk to yon about her ? " 

"No, ma'am." 

" So you are at Mr. Elder's, are you ? " 
she said, after another long pause, during 
which I was not idle, for my trouble being 
gone I could now be hungry. 

"Yes, ma'am." 

" How did you come here, then ? " 

" I walked with the rest of the boys ; but 
ihey are gone home without me." 

Thanks to the kindness of Sir Giles, my 
fiiult had already withdrawn so far into the 
past, that I wished to turn my back upon 
It altogether. I saw no need for confessmg 
it to Mrs. Wilson; and there was none. 

" Did you lose your way ? " 

"No, ma'am." 

" What brought you here, then ? I sup- 
pose you wanted to see the place." 

"The woman at the lodge told us the 
nearest way was through the park." 

1 quite expected she would so on cross- 
questioning me, and then afl the truth 
would have had to come out. But to my 
ffreat relief she went no further, only 
kept eyeing me in a manner so oppressive 
as to compel me to eat bread and butter 
and strawoerry jam with self-defensive 
eagerness. I presume she trusted to find 
out the truth by-and-by. She contented 
herself in the meantime with asking ques- 
tions about my uncle and aunt, the farm, 



the school and Mr. and Mrs. Elder, all in a 
cold, stately, refraining manner, with two 
spots of red in her face — one on each 
cheek-bone, and a thin rather peevish 
nose dividing them. But her forehead 
was good, ana when she smiled, which was 
not oflen, her eyes shone. Still, 'even I, 
with my smaU knowledge of womankind, 
was dimly aware that she was feeling her 
way with me, and I did not like her 
much. 

" Have you neariy done ? " she asked at 
len^. 

"Yes, quite, thank you," I answered. 

"Are you going back to school to- 
night?" 

" Yes, ma'am ; of course." 

" How are you going ? " 

" If you will teu me the way " 

"Do you know how far you are firom 
Aldwick?" 

" No, ma'am." 

" Eight miles," she answered ; " and it's 
getting rather late." 

I was seated opposite the windows to 
the park, and, lookmg up, saw with some 
dismay that the air was getting dusky. I 
rose at once, saying — 

" I must make haste. They will think I 
am lost." 

" But you can never walk so far. Master 
Cimibermede." 

" Oh, but I must t I can't help it. I 
must get back as fast as possible." 

" You never can walk such a distance. 
Take another bit of cake while I go and 
see what can be done." 

Another piece of cake being within the 
bounds of possibility, I might at least wait 
and see what Mrs. Wilson's design was. 
She left the room, and I turned to the 
cake. In a little while she came back, sat 
down, and went on talking. I was begin- 
ning to get quite uneasy, when a maid put 
her head in at the door and said — 

" Please, Mrs. Wilson, the dog-cart's 
ready, ma'am." 

"Very well," replied Mrs. Wilson, and 
tumioff to me, said — more kindly than 
she had yet spoken — 

"Now, Master Cumbermede, you must 
come and see me again. I'm too busy to 
spare much time when the family is at 
home; but they are all going away the 
week after next, and if you wiU come and 
see me then, 1 shall be glad to show yon 
over the house." 

As she spoke she rose and led the way 
from the room, and out of the court by 
another gate from that by which I had 
entered. At the bottom of a steep descent 
a groom was waiting with the dog-cart. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



122 



WILFRID CUMBERMEDE. 



" Here, James," said Mrs. WUson, « take 
good care of the young gentleman,, and 
put him down safe at Mr. Eider's. Master 
Wilfrid, you'll find a hamper of apples 
underneath. You had better not eat them 
all yourself, you know. Here are two or 
three for you to eat by the way." 

"Thank you, Mrs. Wilson. No; Tm 
not quite so greedy as that," I answered 
gaUy, for my spirits were high at the 
notion of a ride m the dogHsart instead of 
a long and dreary walk. 

When I was fairly in, she shook hands 
with me, reminding me that I was to visit 
her soon, and away went the dog-cart be- 
hind a high-stepping horse. I had never 
before been in an open vehicle of any 
higher description than a cart, and the 
ride was a creat delight. We went a dif- 
ferent road from tb^t which my compan- 
ions had taken. It lay through trees all 
the way till we were out of the park. 

" That's the land-steward's house," said 
James. 

" Oh, is it ? " I returned, not much inter- 
ested. "What great trees those are all 
about it ! " 

" Yes ; they're the finest elms in all the 
county those," he answered. "Old Con- 
ingham knew what he was about when he 
got the last baronet to let him build his 
nest there. Here we are at the gate 1 " 

We came out upon a country road, which 
ran between the wall of the park and a 
wooden fence along a field of grass. I 
offered James one of my apples, which he 
accepted. 

" There, now 1 " he said, " there's a field I 
— A right good bit o' grass thatl Our 
people has wanted to throw ii into the 
park for hundreds of years. But they 
won't part with it for love or money. It 
ought by rights to be ours, you see, by the 
lie of the countrv. It's all one grass with 
the park. But I suppose them as owns it 
ain't of the same mind. — Cur'ous old 
box ! " he added, pointing with his whip a 
long way off " You can just see the roof 
of it." 

I looked in the direction he pointed. A 
rise in the ground hid all but an ancient, 
high-peaked roof. What was my aston- 
ishment to discover in it the roof of my 
own home I I was certain it could be no 
other. It caused a strange sensation, to 
come upon it thus from the outside, as it 
were, when I thought mvself miles and 
miles away from it. I fell a pondering 
over the matter ; and as I reflected, I be- 
came convinced that the trees from which 
we had just emerffed were the same which 
used to chum the wind for my childish 



fancies. I did not feel inclined to share 
my feelings with mv new acquaintance; 
but presently he put his whip in the socket 
and fell to eatiiu; his apple. There was 
nothing more in the conversation he after- 
wards resumed deserving of record. He 
fulled up at the gate of the school, where 
bade mm good night and rang the bell, 
j There was great rejoicing over me when 
I entered, for the boys had arrived with- 
out me a little while before, having 
searched all about the place where we had 
J parted company, and come at length to 
I the conclusion that I had played them a 
trick in order to get home without them, 
there having been some frm on the road 
concerning my local stupidity. Mr. El- 
der, however, took me to his own room, 
and read me a lecture on the necessity of 
not abusing my privileges. I told him the 
whole affidr from beguming to end, and 
thought he behaved verv oddlv. He 
turned away every now and then, blew hia 
nose, took off his spectacles, wiped them 
carefully, and replaced them beiore turn- 
ing agam to me. 

" Gro on, go on, my boy. I'm liatening,'' 
he would say. 

I cannot tell whether he was laughinsr 
or crying. I suspect both* When I had 
finished, be said, very solemnly — 

"Wilfred, you have had a narrow es- 
cape. I need not tell you how wrong you 
were about the apple, for you know that 
as well as I do. mt you did tiie right 
thing when your eyes were opened. I am 
greatly pleased with you, and greatly 
obliged to Sir Giles. I will write and 
thank him this very night." 

" Please, sir, ought I to tell the boys ? \ 
would rather not." 

" No. I do not think it necessary." 

He rose and rang the bell. 

" Ask Master Fox to step this way." 

Fox was the oldest boy, and was on the • 
point of leaving. 

" Fox," said Mr. Elder, " Cumbermede 
has quite satisfied me. Will you oblige 
me by asking him no questions. I am 
quite aware such a request must seem 
strange, but I have good reasons for mak- 
ing it." 

" Very well, sir," said Fox, glancing at 
me. 

" Take him with you, then, and tell the 
rest It is as a favour to myself that I put 
it. Fox." 

" That is quite enough, sir." 

Fox took me to Mrs. Elder, and had a 
talk with the rest before I saw them. 
Some twenty years after. Fox and I had it 
out. I gave him a full explanation, for by 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WILFRID CUMBBRMEDE. 



123 



that time I could smile over the a£Gftir. But 
what does the ol](jeot matter ? — an apple, 
or a thousand pounds ? It is but the peg 
on which the act hangs. The act is every- 
thing. 
To the honour of my school-^ellows I re- 



cord that not one of them ever let fall a 
hint in the direction .of the mysterv. 
Neither did Mr. or Mrs. Elder once allude 
to it. If possible they were kinder than 
before. 



Some fdtore historian of the great Franco- 
Prussian war will perhaps devote a paragraph 
or two to the herobm and soffieringsof thedumb 
animals which have taken part in it Already 
there has found its way into print more than 
one story of horses displiiying romantic fidelity 
to their dead masters, and un amount of cour- 
age and discipline which their riders failed to 
exhibit. But the subject has not yet received 
its full share of attention, nor gained for itself 
a special correspondent at the seat of war. 
Meanwhile it is gratifying to record that the 
spirit of indifference to equine nature, which 
is one of the results of hippophagy, has not yet 
extended to Rome, and the correspondent of the 
Wutmimter OazetU describes in the following 
terms the new aflliotion which has befallen the 
Pope :— 

The Holy Father has sold off his hones! Such 
la the news of to-day: and I can hardly bring my- 
self to believe it Those grand old black horses 
which looked so dignilled and benevolent, so con- 
scions of the honour which had fkUen to their lot, 
above that of any horses in the world ; with their 
solemn ambling tramp so associated in our minds 
with the delighted exclamation, murmured all 
round oorear^, " l£cco il Papal il Papa! Benedizi- 
one, Santo Padre ! Benedlzione ! " The grand old 
good-natured black horses with their sleek, shiny 
coats which we have seen prancing up the Esqni- 
line, decked with f)resh flowers, feathers, and bells. 
to receive Sant' Antonio's blessing in due form and 
order. Are we not to see them again? To what 
meaner use are they reduced ? 

We regret that it is not in our power to gratify 
the correspondent's Uudable curiosity. There 
may be, for aught we know to the contrary, a 
divinity which hedges in the lives of Papal 
horses, and preserves them from the common 
fkte of beasts; and even if otherwise, we should 
fbrb(»ur to speculate upon their forming food for 
a beleaguered garrison or sharing with ** a first- 
claw horse, formerly the property of Count La- 
grange," the post of honour in the attractions 
of a Paris restaurant pall Mall Gazette. 



Fbaxcis Dbakb, in his voysge round the 
world, found that one of his officers, named 
Doughty — a bold, resolute man — to whom, 
indeed, he had previously given the command 
of a prise — had been trying to raise a mutiny 
amongst the seamen. Drake had him tried at 
once, by a court composed of all the chief men 
in the squadron ^ about forty in number — 



which found him guilty, and sentenced him to 
death. He was aooordingly beheaded. The 
story of his execution is still more singular than 
that of his trial. It is told in this way by an 
old author : — 

** He submitted patiently to his fiite,and died 
with an undaunteid presence of mind. The 
morning before his execution he received the 
Holy Communion with Drake and several others 
of the officers. He afterwards dined with them 
at the same table, seemingly as cheerful as ever 
he had done before, and took leave of them all 
by drinking to them as if he had been going on 
a journey. Dinner being ended, he rose from 
the table, and, without any hesitation, walked 
out to the place prepared for his execution.'* 
Sketches in Naval History, Macmillan. 



Not many perhaps of those to whom the name 
and fame of John Wesley are known identify 
the great secretary with the work of which he 
was not a little prond, his *' Primitive Physick, 
or an Easy and Natural Method of Curing 
Most Diseases," printed by William Pine, in 
Narrow Wine-street, Bristol, and sold at the 
New Boom in the Horse Fair, and in London, 
1762. It was lately submitted for the edifica- 
tion of the pharmaceutists at their Liverpool 
conference, among a century of old books, and 
Wesley's announcement that " every man of 
common sense (unless in some rare cases) may 
prescribe either to himself or his neighbour, and 
may be very secure fh>m doing harm where he 
can do no good " was compared with his odd 
recipes. Among the remedies which he ap- 
proves as ** tried " — a word which he thus 
made proverbial in the Methodist oonnection — 
is bleeding for consumption. The patient is to 
lose six ounces of blood every day for a fortnight 
if he live so long, and then every other day, 
then every third day, then every fifth day for 
the same time. The gout is to be cured by the 
application of a raw lean beef-steak; for twisting 
of the bowels, one, two, or three pounds of 
quicksilver in water. The pharmaceutists came 
to the conclusion that Wesley was more success- 
ful as a theologian than a physician, and that 
his experience of the value of ** untutored com- 
mon sense *' in his former capacity had induced 
him to undervalue the necessity for a basis of 
skilled knowledge in the latter. 

FaU MaU Gazette. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



124 



WESLEY AND ARNOLD ON WAR. 



From M flomillan*8 M a g aa rin e. 
WESLET AND ABNOLD ON WAR. 

The following remarkable letter from 
John Wesley to Lord Dartmouth, the then 
Colonial Secretary, which, through the 
kindness of the present Earl, is now for the 
first time published from the original in 
the archives of his family, cannot fail to be 
read with much interest and instruction at 
a juncture in many respects like that at 
which its burning words were called forth. 
It is the kind of letter, mutatis mutandis, 
that ought to have been written by the 
Pope to the Emperor of the French at the 
unprovoked beginning of the present war, 
or by any French ecclesiastic who believes 
that his country is labouring under a fatal 
illusion in refusing to acknowledge its de- 
feat, and in believing that the loss of an 
inch of territory is the destruction of the 
whole nation. It might even be written by 
some Grerman pastor or professor, who 
thinks that he might persuade the King or 
Count Bismarck to moderate, for the sake 
of peace, even their just demands. That 
Wesley was right we now all acknowledge. 
It is possible that had any one of the per- 
sonages whom we have imagined so spoken, 
they might have been right also. 

My Lord, — I would not speak, as it 
may seem to be concerning myself with 
things that lie out of my province. But I 
dare not refrain from it any longer: I 
think silence in tho^ present case would be 
a sin against Grod, against my Country, aud 
against my own soi3. 

But what hope can I have of doing good, 
of making the least impression upon your 
Lordship where so many have spoken in 
vain, and those far better qualified to speak 
on so delicate a subject ? 

They were better qualified in some re- 
i^ects ; in others they were not. They had 
not less bias upon their minds : They were 
not free from wordly Hopes and Fears. 
Their Passions were engaged: and how 
easily do these blind the eyes of the Un- 
derstanding ? They were not more impar- 
tial. Most of them were prejudiced in the 
highest degree. They neither loved the 
Kmg nor his Ministers. Rather they hated 
them with a perfect hatred. And your 
Lordship knowing this, if you was a man, 
could not avoid having some prejudice to 



Them; in which case it would be hardly 
possible to feel the full force of their argu- 
ments. 

They had not better means of informa- 
tion, of knowing the real Tempers and Sen- 
timents, either of the Americans on the 
one hand, or of the English, Irish and Scots, 
on toe other. Above all, they trusted in 
themselves, in their own power of convinc- 
ing and persuading. I trust onlv in the 
living God, who ham the hearts of all men 
in his hand. 

And whether my writing do any good, 
or no, it need do no harm. For it rests 
within your Lordship's breast, whether any 
eye but your own shall see it. 

All my prejudices are against the Amer- 
icans. For I am an High-Church man, the 
son of an Hi^h-Church man, bred up from 
my childhood in the highest notions of Pas- 
sive Obedience and Non-Resistance. And 
yet in spite of all my rooted prejudice, I 
cannot avoid thinking (if I think at all) 
That an oppressed People asked for noth- 
ing more than their Legal Rights ; and that 
in the most modest and inoffensive manner 
which the nature of the thing would allow. 

But waiving this, waiving all considera- 
tions of Right and Wrong, I ask, '< Is it 
Conmion Sense to use Force towards the 
Americans ? " 

A letter now before me says, " Four 
hundred of the Regulars and forty of the 
Militia were killed in the last skirmish.'' 
What a disproportion I And this is the 
first Essay of raw men against Regular 
troops 1 

You see, my Lord, whatever has been 
affirmed, these men will not be frightened. 
And it seems, they will not be conquered 
so easily, as was at first imagined. They 
will probably dispute every inch of ground, 
and, if they die, die sword in hand. 

Indeed some of our valiant officers say, 
" Two thousand men will clear America of 
these rebels." No, nor twenty thousand, 
nor perhaps treble that number, be they 
rebels or not. They are as strong men as 
you : They are as valiant as you ; if not 
abundantly more valiant. For they are 
one and all Enthusiasts ; Enthusiasts for 
Liberty. They are calm, deliberate En- 
thusiasts. And we know how this prin- 
ciple 

*< Breathes into softest souls stern Love of War, 
And thirst of Yengeanoe, and oootempt of 
Death." 

We know men animated with this, will 
leap into a fire, or rush upon a cannon's 
mouth. 
"But they have no Experience of War." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WESLEY AND ARNOLD ON WAR. 



126 



And how much more have our troops? 
How few of them ever saw a Battle ? " But 
they have no Discipline." That is an en- 
tire mistake. Already they have near as 
much as our Army. And they will learn 
more of it every day. So that in a short 
time they will understand it as well as their 
assailants. 

^ But they are divided among them- 
selves: so you are informed by various 
letters and memorials." So, I doubt not, 
was poor Rehoboam informed, concerning 
the ten tribes 1 So (nearer our times) 
was Philip informed, concerning the people 
of the Ketherlands I No, my Lord, they 
are terribly united ; not in the province of 
New England only, but down as low as the 
Jerseys, and Pennsylvania, the bulk of the 
people are so united^ that to speak a word 
m &vour of the present English measures 
would almost endanger a man's life. Those 
who inform me of this Tone of whom was 
with me last week, lately come from Phil- 
adelphia) are no Sycophants; they say 
nothmg to curry favour ; they have noth- 
. ing to gain or lose by me. But they speak 
with sorrow of heart, what they have seen 
with their eyes, and heard with their own 
ears. 

Those men think, one and all, be it right 
or wrong, that they are contending jtwo aris 
et focisj for their Wives, Children, and 
Liberty! What advantage have they 
herein over men that fight only for pay? 
None of whom care a straw for the cause 
wherein they are engaged : most of whom 
strongly disapprove of it ? 

Have they not another considerable ad- 
yantage ? Is there occasion to recruit the 
troops? Their supplies are at hand, all 
round about them: ours are three thou- 
sand miles ofT. 

Are we then able to conquer the Amer- 
icans, suppose they are left to themselves ? 
Suppose aU our neighbours stand stock 
stiU, and leave us and them to fight it out? 
But are we sure of this? Are we sure 
that all our neighbours will stand stock 
still? I doubt, they have not promised it. 
And if they had, could we rely upon those 
Promises? 

Tet it is not probable they will send 
ships or men to America. Is there not a 
shorter way ? Do they not know where 
England and Ireland lie ? And have they 
not troops, as well as ships in readiness ? 
JAl Europe is well apprised of this ; only 
the Enshsh know nothing of the matter ; 
What if they find means to land but ten 
thousand men ? Where are the trooM in 
England or Ireland to oppose them? Why, 
catting the throats of their Brethren in 



America! Poor England in the mean 
time! 

"But we have our Militia, our valiant 
disciplined Militia : These will efiectuallv 
oppose them." Give me leave, my Lord, 
to relate a little circumstance of which one 
then on the spot informed me. In 1716 a 
large Body of Militia were marching to- 
ward Preston against the Rebels. In a 
wood which they were marching by, a boy 
happened to discharge his fowling-piece. 
The soldiers gave all for lost ; and by com- 
mon consent threw down their arms, and 
ran for life. So much dependence is to be 
placed on our valorous Militia I 

But, my Lord, this is not all. We have 
thousands of Enemies, perhaps more dan- 
gerous than French or Spaniards. They 
are landed already, they fill our Cities, 
our Towns, our ViUages. As I travel four 
or five thousand miles every year, I have 
an opportunity of conversing fireely with 
more persons of every denomination than 
any one else in the three kingdoms. I 
cannot therefore but know the General 
Disposition of the people, English, Scots, 
and Irish, and I know an huge ms^ority of 
them are exasperated almost to madness. 
Exactly so thev were thro'out England 
and Scotland about the year 1640: And 
in great measure by the same means ; by 
in&mmatory Papers, which were spreao, 
as they are now, with the utmost dihgence 
in eveiy comer of the land. Hereby the 
bulk of the people were efiectually cured 
of all Love ana Reverence of the King. 
So that first despising, then hating him, 
they were just npe for open Rebellion. 
And I assure your Lordship so they are 
now : they want nothing but a Leader. 

Two circumstances more deserve to be 
Considered: the one that there was at 
that time a general decay of Trade, al- 
most throughout the Kingdom ; The other, 
that there was an uncommon Deamess of 
Provisions. The case is the same in both 
respects at this day. So that even now 
there are multitudes of people that having 
nothine to do, and nothing to eat, are 
ready for the first bidder ; and that with- 
out inquiring into the merits of the Cause 
would flock to any that would give them 
bread. 

Upon the whole I am really sometimes 
afraid, That "this evil is of the Lord." 
When I consider (to say nothing of ten 
thousand other Vices shocking to human 
nature) the astonishing Luxury of the Rich, 
and the Prof oneness of rich and poor, I doubt 
whether General dissoluteness of Manners 
does not demand a General visitation. Per- 
haps the decree is ahready gone forth from 



Digitized by 



Googk 



126 



WBSLBT AND ARNOLD ON WAB. 



the Governor of the world. Perhaps even 
now, 

*' Ab he that buys sarrejs a Qround, 
So the destroying Angel measures it around. 
Calm he surrejB the perishing Nation, 
Bain behind him stallca and empty desola- 
tion.** 

But we Englishmen are too wise to ac~ 
knowled<^e that God has anything to do in 
the world I Otherwise should we not seek 
him by Fasting and Prayer, before he lets 
the lifted thunder drop ? O my Lord, if 
TOur Lordship can do anything let it not 
be wanting I For God's sake, for the sake 
of the King, of the Nation, of your lovely 
Family, remember RehoboamI Remem- 
ber Philip the Second I Remember King 
Charles tne First ! 

I am, with true regard, 
My Lord, 
Tour Lordship's obedient Servant, 
John Wesley. 
14th June, 1776, in Vu way to Dublin. 

It may be worth while to place by the 
side of this powerful utt«irance the words 
of another ^at Christian teacher and 
preacher, which seem as if they had been 
written for the present time. They are 
taken from Arnold's " Lectures on Mod- 
em History " — that which treats of mil- 
itarv history and the laws of war. 

The first passage bears directly on that 
excessive fear and susceptibility of the 
German predominance, which in some 
degree lea to the war, and which causes 
many Englishmen to look with alarm to 
its conclusion : — 



were natlTes of Italy. In oar own oootests witk 
Fraooe, oor faperiority has not always betm 
what our national vanity would imagine it; 
Philip Augastos and Louis the Ninth were anS- 
formly saooeasf j1 against John and Henry the 
Third; the oonqaests of Edward the Third and 
Henry the Filth were followed by periods of 
equally an?aried disasters; and descending to 
later times, if Marlborough was uniformly vio- 
torious, yet Kine William when opposed to 
Luxembourg, and the Duke of Cumberland 
when oppoMd to Biarshal Saxe, were no leas 
uniformly beaten. Sooh examples are, I think, 
satisfiMtonr; forjudging calmly, we would not 
surely wish that one nation should be uniformly 
and inefitably suneiior to another; I do not 
know what national Tirtue oould safely be sub- 
jected to so severe a temptation. If there be, as 
perhaps there are, some physical and moral 

Sualities eqjoved by some nations in a higher 
egree than by others, and this, so (ar as we 
see, oonstitutionally; yet the superiority is not 
so great but that a litUe o?er-presumption and 
oarilessness on one side, or a little iooreased ae- 
tifity and more oarefbl disoipline x>n the other, 
and still more any remarkable indifidual g^iins 
in the generals or in the government, may easily 
restore the balance, or e?en turn it the other 
It is /|aite a dUferent thing, and ?ei7 



" There are some very satisfSMtory examples 
to show that a nation must not at any rate as- 
sume lightly that it is superior to another, be- 
cause it may ha?e gained great victories over it 
Judging by the experience of the period fh>m 
1796 to 1809, we might say that the French 
were decidedly superior to the Anstrians; and 
so the campaign of 1806 might seem to show an 
equal superiority over the Prussians. Tet in the 
long strt^le between the Austrian and French 
monarchies, the militaiv suooesses of each are 
wonderfully balanced; m 1796, whilst Napo- 
leon was defeating army after army in Italy, 
the Archduke Charles was drifing Jourdan and 
Moreau before him out of Germany; and Fred- 
erick the Great defeated the French at Rosbaoh 
as completely and easily as Napoleon defeated 
the Prussians at Jena. The militarv character 
of the Italians is now bw; yet without going 
back to the Roman times, we find that in the 
sixteenth century the inhabitants of the Roman 
states were reputed to possess in an eminent de- 
gree the qualities of soldiers, and some of the 



Intimate, to feel that we ha?e such qualities 
as will save us fh>m ever being despicable ene- 
mies, or from being easily defeated by others; 
but it is much better that we should not feel so 
oonfident, as to think that others must always 
be defeated by us.'* 

The following passage might well be 
borne in mind bv those who, whether in 
Franoe or England, are justifying the 
irregular warfare of the Francs-Tireurs : — 

" What is sometimes, and by one party, oaUed 
an heroic national resistance, is by others called 
insurrection and brigandage; and what, aooord- 
ing to one version, are but strong and Just se- 
verities for the maintenance of peace, are, ac- 
cording to another, wholesale murders and 
militaj^ massacres. Now it seems one of the 
greatest improvements of the modem laws of 
war, that regular armies are considered to be 
the only belligerents, and that the inhabitants 
of a country which shall happen to be the seat 
of war shall be regarded as neutrals, and pro- 
tected both in their persons and property. It 
is held that such a system does not prevent gra- 
tuitous horrors; a treacherous and assassinating 
kind of warfare on one side, and on the other 
cruelties and outrages of the worst desoription» 
in which the most helpless part of the popula- 
tion, the sick and the aged, women and ohildren» 
are the greatest sulTerers. But it is quite essen- 
tial that this system of forbearance should be 
equally observed by both parties ; if Sdldiers 
plunder or set fire to a village, they cannot 
complain if the inhabitants cut off their strag- 



ablest generals of Europe, Alexander Famese glers, or shoot at them from behind walls and 
Prince of Parma, Spinola, and Monteououli, I hedges; and, on the other hand, if the inhabi- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WESLEY AND ARNOLD ON WAR. 



127 



tKiits of a TilUge will go out on their own ae- 
ooant to annoj An enemv's march, to intemipt 
his commanioatioos, and to fire upon hia men 
wherever they can find them, they, too, moat 
be patient if the enemy in return bam their 
Tillage, and hang them np as brigands. For 
it is idle to say that the mere circamstance that 
an army is inTadine its enemy's country pats 
it out of the pale of civilised hostility ; or, at 
any rate, if this be maintained, it is worse than 
Idle to say that it may not retaliate this system, 
and put out of the pale of civiliced hostility 
those who have begun so to deal with them. 
The truth is, that if war, carried on by reg^ular 
armies under the strictest discipline, is yet a 
great evil, an irregular partisan warfare is an 
evil ten times more intolerable; it is in fust no 
other than to give a licence to a whole popula- 
tion to commit all sorts of treachery, rapine, 
and cruelty, without any restraint; letting loose 
a multitude of armed men, with none of the obe- 
dience and none of the honourable fbelings of a 
soldier; cowardly because they are undisci- 
plined, and cruel because th^ are cowardly. 
It seems then the bounden duty of every gov- 
ernment, not only not to encourage such irreg- 
ular warfare on the part of its population, but 
carefblly to repress it, and to oppose its enemy 
only with its regular troops, or with men regu- 
larly organised, and acting under authorised 
officers, who shall observe the ordinary human- 
ities of civilised war. And what are called pa- 
triotic insurrections, or irregular risings of the 
whole population to annoy an invading army by 
all means, ought impartially to be condemned, 
by whomsoever and against whomsoever prac- 
tised, as a resource of small and doubtful effi- 
cacy, but ftiU of certain atrocity, and a most 
terrible aggravation of the evils of war. Of 
course, if an invading army sets the example of 
such irregular warfare, if Uiey proceed after the 
manner of the ancients to lav waste the coun- 
try in mere wantonness, to bum houses, and 
to be guily of personal outrages on the inhabit 
tants, then th^ themselTes invite retaliation, 
and a guerrilla warflue against such an invader 
becomes Justifiable. But our censure in all 
cases should have reference not to the justice of 
the original war, which is a point infiuitely more 
disputable, but to a simple fact, which side 
first set the example of departing from the laws 
of civilised warflue, and of beginning a qrstem 
of treachery and atrocity. 

In the natural course of things, war must be 
carried on In the territory of one belligerent or 
of the other; it is an accident merely if their 
fightiog-ground happen to be the country of 
some tbini party. Now it cannot be said that 
the party which acts on the ofliensive, war hav- 
ing been once declared, becomes in the wrong 
by doing so, or that the object of all invasion is 
conquest Ton invade your enemy in order to 
compel him to do you Justice; that is, to ibrce 
him to make peace on reasonable terms. This 
is your theory of the case, and it is one which 
must be allowed to be maintainable Just as 



much as your enemy's, fbr all laws of war 
waive, and must waive, the question as to the 
original Justice of the quarrel; thev assume that 
both parties are equally in the right But sup- 
pose invasion for the salte of conquest, I do not 
I say of the whole of your enemy's country, but 
of that portion of it which you are invading; as 
I we have many times invaded French colonics 
I with a view to their incorporation permanently 
. with the British dominions. Conquests of such 
I a sort are no vioUtions necessarily of the legiti- 
' mate object of war; they may be considered as 
a security taken for the time to come. Tet un- 
doubtedly the shock to the inhabitants of the 
particular countries so invaded is very great; it 
was not a light thing for the Canadian, or the 
inhabitant of Trinidad or of the Cape of Good 
Hope, to be severed from the people of his own 
blood and Unguage, fh>m his own mother state, 
and to be subjected to the dominion of foreign- 
ers, men with a strange language, strange man- 
ners, a dilierent Church, and a dififerent law. 
That the inhabitants of such countries should 
enlist very leabusly in the militia, and should 
place the resources of defSence very readily in 
the hands of the govemment, is quite just and 
quite their duty; I am only deprecating the 
notion that they should rise in irregular war- 
fare, each man or each village for itself, and 
assail the invaders as their personal enemies, 
killing them whenever and wherever they can 
find them. Or again, suppose that the invasion 
is undertaken for the purpose of overthrowing 
the existing government of a country, as the 
attempted French descents to co-operate with 
the Jacobites, or the invasion of France by the 
coalesced powers in 1792 and 1798, and again 
in 1814 and 1815. When the English army 
advanced into France in 1814, respecting per- 
sons and property, and paying for every arti- 
cle of food which they tcok from the country, 
would it have been for the inhabitants to barri- 
cade every village, to have lurked in every 
thicket and behind every wall to shoot strag- 
glers and sentinels, and keep up night and day 
a war of extermination T If indeed the avowed 
object of the invader be the destraction not of 
any particular government, but of the national 
existenoe altogeUier, if he thus disclaims the 
usual object of legitimate war, a taXr and lasting 
peace, and declares that he makes it a war of 
extermination, be doubtless cannot complain if 
the usual laws of war are departed firom against 
him, when he himself sets the example. But 
even then, when we consider what unspeakable 
atrocities a partisan warfare gives birth to, and 
that no nation attacked by an overwhelming 
force of disciplined armies was ever saved by 
such means, it may be doubted even then 
whether it^ Justifiable, unless the invader 
drives the inhabitants to it, by treating them 
from the beginning as enemies, and outraging 
their persons and properW. If this Judgment 
seem extreme to any one, I would only ask him 
to consider well first the cowardly, treacherous, 
uid atrocious character of all guerrilla warfkre. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



128 



WESLEY AND ARNOLD ON WAR. 



and in tbo next plaoe the oertoin misery which 
it entails on the ooantiy which practises it, and 
its inefl&oaoy, as a general role, to oonquer or 
expel an enengr, howeyer much it may annoy 



The following extract mi^ht well be sub- 
mitted to any Congress which may be held 
at the close of the war. It calls, as will be 
seen, for a revision of the military code,, 
which down to this time has justified the 
French in enclosing a vast unarmed pop- 
ulation within the fortresses of Strasburg, 
Metz, and Paris, and which has therefore 
forced the Germans into the odious task 
either of bombarding the most beautiful 
of modem cities, or of starving to death 
an innocent multitude of women and chil- 
dren. It may be too late to alter this code 
now. It cannot be too soon to prevent the 
possibility of its recurrence : — 

" A case in which it seems desirable that the 
law of nations should either be amended, or de- 
clared more clearly and enlbroed in practice, is 
that of the blockade of towns not defended by 
their inhabitants, in order to force their surren- 
der by starvation. And here let us try to retU^ 
ise to ourselves what such a blockade is. We 
need not, unhappily, draw a fancied picture; 
history, and no remote history either, will sup- 
ply us with the fiicts.** 

Then follows the written description of 
the siege of Genoa, which ended in the 
death by starvation of 20,000 of the pop- 
ulation. 

** Now is it right that such a tragedy as this 
should take place, and that the laws of war 
should be supposed to Justify the authors of it T 
Concdve having been a naval officer in Lord 
Keith's squadron at that time, and being em- 
ployed in stopping the fbod which was bc^g 
brought for the reUef of such misery. For the 
thing was done deliberately; the helplessness of 
the Genoese was known, their distress was 
known; it was known that th^ could not ibroe 
Blassena to surrender; it was known that they 
were dying daily by hundreds; yet week after 
week, and month alter month, did the British 
ships of war keep their iron watch along all the 



coast: DO vessel nor boat laden with any articla 
of provision could escape their vigilance. Ooe 
cannot but be thankful that NeLson was spared 
from commanding at this horrible blockade of 
Genoa. 

Now, on which side the law of nations should 
throw the guilt of most atrocious murder is of 
little comparative consequence, or whether it 
should attach it to both sides equally: but that 
the deliberate starving to death of twenty thou- 
sand helpless persons should be regarde i as a 
crime in one or both of the parties concerned in 
it, seems to me self-erident The simplest 
course would seem to be, that all non-combat- 
ants should be allowed to go out of a blockaded 
town, and that the general who should refuse to 
let them pass should be regAfded in the same 
light as one who were to murder his prisoners, 
or who were to be in the habit of butchering 
women and children. For it is not true that 
war only looks to the speediest and most effect- 
ual way of attaining its object, so that as tlM 
letting the inhabitants go out would enable the 
garrison to maintain the town longer, the laws 
of war authorise the keeping them in and 
starving them. Poisoning wells might be still 
a quicker method of reducing a place, but do 
the laws of war therefore sanction it T I shall 
not be supposed for a moment to be placing the 
guilt of the individuals concerned m the two 
cases which I am going to compare on an equal 
fboting; it would be most unjust to do so, for in 
the one case they acted, as they supposed, ac- 
cording to a law which made what they did 
their duty. But take the cases theoiselves, and 
examine them in all their circumstances; the 
degree of suffering inflicted, the innocence and 
helplessness of the sufferers, the interests at 
stake, and the possibility of otherwise securing 
them; and if any man can defend the lawful- 
ness in the abstract of the starvation of the in- 
habitants of Genoa, I will engage also to estab- 
lish the lawfulness of the massacres of Septem- 
ber." 

We cannot doubt that, had Arnold been 
alive now, he would, in some form or other, 
have lifted up his voice again in each of 
the three oases here quoted. It seems only 
fair to his memory to let him "though 
dead, yet speak " once more. 



GntMDrAnoir of Palms.— He. J. W. Jaok- 
•oir contributes to the Oard€tur*$ Chronicle 
Ibr August 16tfa an interesting paper on the 
germination of palms. This is incorrectly de- 
scribed in all the botanical toxt-books commonly 
in use. Its peculiarity consists in the end of tlM 
cotyledon or aoeAAoil remaining in the seed, 
whilst its stalk is pushed out, oanying with it the 
ndide, which germinates in the osual manner 



at a little distance fW>m the seed. In the double 
cocoa-nut LodoieeOt the protruded end of the 
co^ledon is as much as 12 or 18 inches long. 
Tli^ sheath or socket at the base of the stem of 
this palm is shown not to be peculiar to it, as 
has becm supposed, though more developed than 
in other species, and to be formed by the vascu- 
Ur bandies of the mdimentacy and early leaves. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LIT TELL'S LIVING AGE. 

No. 1389.— January 14, 187L 



CONTENTS. 

1. The Futurb of Fkahob, . . Fortnightly Review, • • .181 

2. Sbkd-Timb and Ha&vbst : or Dorino mt Ap- 

PRBNnossHip. Part IIL Translated fbr 
The Living Age fh>m the PlaU-DexUech 

of Fritz Renter 141 

8. Browning's Pobms, Saint PauU 156 

4. Earl's Dbnb. Part XIV., .... Blackwood* s Magazine, , . . 167 

5. LoiTis XrV. AS A Matohmaker, . . . Saint Pauls, 178 

6. The Arts of Debtruotion Pall Mall Gazette, ... 184 

7. Weeds, Ml the Year Round, ... 188 

8. Life of Madame Beauharnais de Miramion, Spectator, 186 

9. The Rev. Albert Barnes, 188 

10. From an Englishman in Spain, . . . Pall Mall Gazette, . . .189 

POETRY. 



Spinning 130 

After Many Days, .... 180 

BllBRSPRESENTATION 180 

SHORT ARTICLES. 



In the Etrurian Valley, . • , • 180 
A Winter Evening, . . . .192 



The Recent Great Summer Heat in 

America, . . . . . 140 

The Pennsylvania Gazette, . . . 140 

Civil Service Examinations, . . 166 



Trees, 166 

A Steam Arbiy, 177 

The Arch in Babylon, .... 192 



Numbers of the Living Age Wanted. The publishers are in want of Nob. 1179 and 
1180 (dated respectivelj Jan. 5th and Jan. 12th, 1867) of The Living Age. To subscribers, 
or others, who will do us the fkvor to send us either or both of those numbers, we will return an 
equivalent, either in oar publications or in cash, until our wants are supplied. 



PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY 

LITTELL & GAY, BOSTON. 



TERMS OP SUBSCRIPTION. 



Fob Eight Dollars, remitted directly to the Pvblishera, the Lnriwo Aoe will be pnnctoally for- 
warded for ujetLttjyee <^po8t<ipe. Bat we do not prepay postage on less than a year, nor where we have 
to pay oommution for forwurding the money. 

Price of the First Series, in Cloth, 86 volames, 90 dollars. 
" " Second " " 20 " fiO " 

" Third " •' 82 " 80 " 

The Complete Work, 100 " 250 " 

Any Volnme Bound, 8 dollars ; Unboand, 2 dollars. The sets, or volames, will be sent at the expense 
of the pablishers. 

PREMIUMS POR CLUBS. 
For 5 new sabscribers (»40.), a sixth copy; or a set of Hobnb's InTRODUOTiov to the Bible, un- 
abridged, in 4 large volames, cloth, price SlO ; or any 6 of the back volames of the Livikg Aqe, in nam- 
b^rs, price 910. 



Digitized by 



Google 



180 



SPINNING, ETC. 



SPINNING. 



LiKB » blind spinner, in the son 

I tread my dftys; 
I know that all the threads will ran 

Appointed ways; 
I know each day will bring its task. 
And, being blind, no more I ask. 



I do not know the use or i 

Ofthatlspin; ' 
' I only know that some one oame 

And laid within 
My hand the thread, and said, *' Sinoe you 
Are blind, but one thing you can do." 

Sometimes the threads, so rongh and fiist 

And tangled, fly; 
I know wild storms are sweephig past. 

And fear that I 
Shall fall ; but dare not try to find 
A safer place, sinoe I am blind. 

I know not why, bat I am sare 

That tint and place. 
In some great fabric to endure 

Past time and race. 
My threads wiM haye; so firom the i&rst, 
Though blind, I never felt accurst. 

I think, perhaps, this trast has sprung 

From one short word 
Said oyer me when I was yoang — 

So young I heard 
It, knowing not that Qod*s name mgned 
My brow and sealed me his though blind. 

But whether this be seal or sign 

Within, without. 
It matters not; the Lord diyine 

I neyer doubt 
I know he set me here, and still. 
And glad, and blind, I wait his will : 

But listen, listen, day by day. 

To hear their tread. 
Who bear the finished web away. 

And cut the thread. 
And bring God's message in the sun 
** Thou poor blind spinner, work is done." 
From Yenet by BL H. 



"AFTER MANY DAYS.'* 

*' Bread oast upon the waters may be Ibnnd after 
many days." 

Ate, " after many days," 

No matter when or where. 
The bread thus oast, the seed thus sown. 

Shall spring up fresh and &ir. 

Cast it around thy home, 

Be sure 'tis not in yain; 
Though thou mayst neyer see 

That scattered bread again. 



Though << after many days," 
The bread shall still be found. 

And what thy loyc hath cast 
Shalt clothe the barren ground. 

And when the golden gaiw 

Shall open to receive 
Some whom perchance thou didst 

In doubt and trembling leave. 

Then ** after many days," 
How Shalt thy heart rebound, 

When harps of goki shall hail 
The bread forever found. 

Bvenfaic Post. 



mSBEPRESENTATION. 

PsAOB, there is nothing more for men to speak; 

A larger wisdom than our lips* decrees. 
Of that dumb mouth no longer reason seek. 

No censure reaches that eternal peaoe. 
And that immortal ease. 

Believe not them that would disturb the end 
With earth's invidious oomment, idly meant 

Speak and have done thine evil; for my friend 
Is gone beyond all human discontent, 
And wisely went 

Say what you will, and have your sneer and ga 

You see the spooks, we only heed the fhiH, 
Of a great life, whose truth — men hate truth 
so — 
No lukewarm age of compromise oould suit. 
Laugh and ht mute! 

Rehearsals, by J. L. Warren. 



IN THE ETRURIAN VALLEY. 

Thk oalm swan rested on the breathless glass 
Of dreamy waters, and the snow-white steer 

Near the opposing margin, motionless. 
Stood, knee-deep, gasing wistful on its olear 

And lifb-like shadow, shimmering deep and &r. 

Where on the lurid darkness fell the star. 

Near them, upon its lichen-tinted base. 
Gleamed one of those fair-fancied images 

Which art hath lost, — no god of Idan race. 
But the winged qrmbol whioh by Caspian 
seas. 

Or Susa's groves, its p%rable addrest 

To the wild fiiith of Iran's Zendavest 

Light as the soul, whose archetype it was. 

The Genius touched, yet spurned the pedestal; 
Behind, the foliage in its purple mass. 

Shut out the flushed horison; circling all. 
Nature's hushed giants stood, to gurd and 

girth 
The only home of peaoe upon the earth. 

Lord Lytton*s King Arthnr. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE PUTUBE OF PRANCE. 



131 



From Tbe Fortnightly Be?lew. 
THE FUTUBB OF FRANCE. 

One of the members of the Govermnent 
of the National Defence, Eugene Pelletan, 
was one day developing this thesis to me, 
with all the spirited brilliance and imag- 
inative eloquence which distinguish him: 
that just as in gambling <* qui perd gagne" 
80 in modem wars the vanquished draws 
more advantages from his defeat than the 
conqueror from his victories. ** In faot^'* 
he said, *' whence dates the present great- 
ness of Prussia? From Jena, when she 
lay prostrate in the dust at the feet of Na- 
poleon. Cut to pieces, exhausted by re- 
quisitions and contributions of war, ruined 
almost e£^ed from the map of Europe, it 
was in the depth of her fall that she laid 
the foundations of the institutions which 
make her so powerful to-day. Afler 1815 
France loses her new-made conquests, and 
even a slice of the conquests of Louis 
XIV. ; she pays a milliard of francs to the 
Allies, a milliard to the dmigr^. And this 
was the moment which saw the beginning 
of that period of literary renovation, of 
scientific activity, of parliamentary life, of 
industrial development, which gave France 
the preponderating part in the affidrs of 
Europe. In 1848 Piedmont is crushed by 
Austria. It forthwith concentrates itself, 
reforms itself^ establishes liberty, and, 
thanks to the prestige of its liberty, an- 
nexes Italy. Russia is beaten in the Cri- 
mea; eUe se recueUle, according to the 
well-known phrase of her First Minister ; 
she recognizes the causes of her weakness, 
and, to remedy it, she emancipates her 
8er&, covers herself with an immense net- 
work of iron roads, and appears to-day 
stronger than she ever was. Austria tri- 
umphed over Hungary and Italy in 1849, 
and never was she so feeble as after her suc- 
cess. She was beaten in 1859 and 1866, 
and her reverses deliver her from theocracy 
and despotism, and win for her the eiyoy- 
ment of every liberty, and the sympathies 
of all Europe." 

There is much truth in this position of 
M. Pelletan's. It leads us back to the 
principle which is admitted by Christian- 
ity and all systems of education, that chas- 
tisement is wholesome, and punishment 
the condition of improvement. Be that as 



it may, the examples of contemporary his- 
tory are well calculated to make France of 
good cheer. I do not know who uttered 
that harsh phrase. Finis GaUice. It only 
depends upon France herself most strik- 
ingly to give the sinister prophecy the lie. 
The year 1870 may become for her the 
date of a complete renovation, and the be- 
ginning of a new era of sober glory and 
real progress. Jules Favre has said that 
perhaps she had need of trial to cleanse 
her from her pollutions. A bath of blood 
is a horrible metaphor. In reality it may 
be a source of restored youth, but only on 
condition that she endeavours to draw 
from events the lessons they contain, and 
is rational enough to turn them to her own 
good. Let us see, then, what these lessons 
are, by which France is bound to profit on 
pain of death. 

Whence comes it that Germany has so 
rapidly and completely overcome France, 
which is equally populous, more rich, and 
more warlike? Every one answers, it is 
because Grermany bad compulsory in- 
struction for all, military service for all, 
the Schulpflichtigkeit and the Dienspflich- 
tigkeit. It was said before at Sadowa in 
1866, it is not the needle-gun which has 
conquered, but the schoolmaster. This is 
still more true in 1870, as the chassepot 
was worth incomparably more than the 
zundnadelgewehr. We cannot declare it 
too loudly : it is ignorance that has lost 
France. Ignorance in diplomacy, which, 
knowing neither the history nor the lan- 
guage nor the tendencies of Germany, de- 
ceived the Emperor as to the attitude 
likely to be assumed by the different 
states. Ignorance in the generals, who 
had never studied either the organization 
of the Prussians, or their tactics, or their 
progress, or the lessons of the campaign 
of 1866, or the quality of their leaders. 
Ignorance in the officers, who, accustomed 
to fight against Arabs have been con- 
stantly surprised, confounded, bewildered 
in their own country. Ignorance in the 
soldiers, who, considering the German as a 
brute to be driven with the butt-ends of 
their muskets, lost all their self-possession 
when confronted by men as brave as 
themselves, more familiar with the ground 
than their own captains, and with skill 



Digitized by 



Googk 



132 



THE FUTURE OP PRANCE. 



enough to make a far more intelligent and 
deadly use of an inferior weapon. Igno- 
rance without bound or limit in a press, 
which cried ** h Berlin," as if it were a mere 
question of a military promenade. 

The most formidable corps in the 
French armies was, it used to be said, the 
Turcos and the Zephyrs. They met men 
in spectacles, coming from universities, 
speaking ancient and modem languages, 
and writing on occasion letters in Hebrew 
or Sanskrit. The men in spectacles have 
beaten the wild beasts from Africa. In 
other words, intelligence has beaten sav- 
agery. Are we to be surprised at this, 
when we know that war like industry is 
becoming more and more an afiair of sci- 
ence? 

Who does not know the immense sacri- 
fices that Grermany has made for the ad- 
vancement and diffusion of knowledge; 
spending, for instance, twenty thousand 
pounds sterling at Bonn in a chemical 
laboratory, forty thousand at Heidelberg 
in a physical laboratory ? Little Wurtem- 
berg devoted more money to superior in- 
struction than big France. A thing un- 
heard of, France made the very fees of 
the university students a source of rev- 
enue. She gave without counting it, more 
than a couple of millions of pounds ster- 
ring (between fifty and sixty million francs) 
for the new Opera, and she refused forty 
thousand pounds for school buildings. 
Last year on the deck of the steamer 
which was conveying us to the inaugura- 
tion of the Suez Canal, M. Duruy, the one 
man of merit who ever served under the 
imperial government, told me the tale of 
his griefs in the ministry of public instruc- 
tion. He wanted to introduce compulsory 
education; the Emperor supported him; 
he had all the other ministers against him. 
He had organized fifteen thousand night 
schools for adults; it was with diflSculty 
that he succeeded in carrying off forty 
thousand pounds against the fatuous re- 
sistance of the Council of State. There 
was the whole system of public instruc- 
tion to re-organize, and he could get noth- 
ing. They preferred to employ the gold 
of the country in maintaining the ladies of 
the ballet, in building barracks and pal- 



aces, in gilding monuments, the dome of 
the Invalides, the roof of the Sainte Cha- 
pelle. It was in vain that men like Jules 
Simon, Felletan, Duruy, Jules Favre, cried 
out year after year, *' There must be mil- 
lions for education, or France is lost." 
The Government was deaf. It denied 
everything to education. 

The calamities which ignorance is caus- 
ing to France during the war, are not to 
be compared to those with which she is 
menaced in peace. The one, cruel as they 
may be, are transitory; the others are 
abiding. By universal 8uffi*age France 
has placed the decision of her destinies in 
the hands of masses who are completely 
incapable of discerning their true interest, 
and still less what is demanded for the 
safety and prosperity of the country. Car- 
ried away by the Napoleonic legend — the 
worst malady that can taint a nation — 
universal suffrage has thrice with genuine 
enthusiasm placed absolute power in the 
hands of the hero of Boulogne, and obey- 
ing the pr^fets, has invariably elected 
men who were profoundly mediocre, but 
wholly devoted to the personal power. 
Everywhere and always despotism has 
been the natural fruit of ignorance. Now 
that the blind multitudes will no longer 
be able to vote for the Man of Sedan, we 
have to fear that they will choose the 
most extreme representatives of the oppo- 
^te opinions. Socialists, Legitimists, Ul- 
tramontanes, phrenetic Conservatives, who 
by the desperate violence of their strug- 
gles will make men long for order, even 
at the price of liberty. 

Let the ' example of France serve at 
least for a lesson to other nations. Noth- 
ing is more fatal to the emancipation of 
the lower classes themselves, than to give 
them the vote before they have sufficient 
enlightenment to use it with discriminar 
tion. Would you establish despotism, 
either directly by the prestige of a great 
name, or indirectly by passing through a 
stage of anarchy, then give the suffirage 
to the ignorant masses. 

With compulsory instruction, there 
must be universal military service. I 
should like, for my own part, not As 
Prussian system, whidi con ' *^ 



Digitized by 




Googl 



THE FUTURE OP PRANCB. 



133 



heayj a burden, but the Swiss system 
combined with that of Prussia.* 

Universal service is suitable for demo- 
cratic nations, witness all the republics 
of antiquity. It forms an army that is 
truly patriotic, it braces character, com- 
bats that softness which is gaining on us, 
prepares an immense force without large 
expense, and inculcates discipline and obe- 
dience, qualities worthy of little esteem 
under a despotic government, but indis- 
pensable under a free government. The 
army must become the adult school for 
every citizen. It was thus that Grermany 
recovered her valour and strength. We 
ought to look in the pages of Madame 
de Stael for what the Germans Were at 
the beginning of the century ; soft, gross, 
sluggish, without impulse, without pa- 
triotism, an inert mass that Napoleon 
kneaded at his will in his hand of iron. 
It was Schamporst*s reform which made 
those men of the Landwehr, who before 
Metz let themselves be slaughtered on 
the spot rather than give ground. Exerc^ 
dse, gymnastics, marches, manoeuvring, 
swimming taught to all, the regular culti- 
yation of intellectual strength — these are 
the things that transform nations. 

England, too, ought by the side of its 
permanent corps cTdite to make service in 
the militia general. The Englishman of 
the well-to-do-class gives himself a moral 
and physical education which is perhaps 
worth more than that which the conti- 
nental bourgeoisie receives ; but the 
workman in the manufactories, and still 
more the labourer in the fields, decidedly 
needs to undergo at least the system of 
the Swiss army. 

France will certainly go as far as the 
Prussian system. This it will effect most 

• I have explained the adTantaget' of thb iTstem 
in a work recently pabliahed on the ralOeot of Oer- 
many. La Prune et fAutriche dqmis Sadowa. M. 
Buloz baTing asked me to itndy on the spot the 
consequences of the war of 1866; I set forth in the 
lievue de$ Deux Mondei the following oondosions. 
The nnity of Germany is inevitable. If France does 
not show herself hostile, she will act for the advan- 
tage of freedom. If France declares war, she will 
act for the advantage of militarism and Prussia. In 
any case France onght to make haste to secure com- 
pulsory instruction, and universal military service, 
as the duties of the citizen. I held np for imitation, 
also, the local formation of the army by province 
and district, as in Prussia. 



easily, because the only thing to do wiU 
be to call its military instincts into activity. 
But that is not enough. It must eradicate 
certain traditions which have brought 
nothing but misfortune, and which come 
from the Empire and the Revolution. The 
most popular writers' of France, Thiers, 
Stranger, in old days, and Victor Hugo,' 
Quinet, have sung tiie glories of the Em- 
pire in every key. The old soldiers have 
made out of it in the country districts a 
real religion, of greater potency than the 
old one. The universal idea was that 
France had lost her natural frontiers, her 
legitimate preponderance, and that she 
was bound to regain it at all cost.* In the 
France Nouvelle we see Provost Paradol, 
one of the most enlightened friends of 
true freedom, reduced to despair, because 
he perceives that by the end of the cen- 
tury there will be seventy millions of 
Germans, ninety millions of Russians, 
one hundred and sixty millions of Anglo- 
Saxons, and only forty-five millions of 
French, because the last have less room 
and produce fewer childrep. The Rad- 
icals in the time of Louis Philippe wished 
to force that clear-headed and peaceful 
king to make war, now against Russia for 
Poland, now against England for the 
affiiir of Pritchard, now against Europe for 
Mehemet Ali. If Louis Philippe resisted 
all electoral and parliamentary reform at 
the risk of a revolution, it was because he 
feared the accession of the Radical party, 
which would have dragged him into war. 
What France ought to understand is the 
truth, which the English alone at the pres- 
ent day, I believe, clearly perceive, that to 
maintain any preponderance whatever, or* 
even the balance of powers, in the pres- 
ence of the economic forces actively at 
work all over the world, is as chimerical 
as to insist on arresting the motion of the 
earth. Nothing can prevent America a 
century hence from having two hundred 
millions of Anglo-Saxons ; and if Russia 
after emancipating her serfs gives them 
intruction and liberty, she will grow in the 
same proportion, though more gradually. 
Are England and France to exhaust them- 

* See on this point a truly prophetio article by 
Mr. ClilTe Leslie, The Future ^ Europe foretold in 
m$tonf» in Macmillan's Magasine, Sept 1, 1860. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



134 



THE FUTURE OP PRANCE. 



selves in ruinous wars and vain intri|^ues 
to oppose what is inevitable? Besides, 
. are nations happy and glorious by reason 
of their number and their military prepon- 
derance? No; for who has rendered 
mightier services to humanity than Athens 
and Judaea ? -Which are the states most 
to be envied to-dajr ? Are they not Swit- 
zerland and Belgium, or perhaps San Ma- 
rino and Andorre ? France must destroy 
to the very roots her drea^IS of military 
supremacy and reminiscences of imperial 
glory ; must cast to the winds the rehcs of 
that fatal genius who led her to Waterloo, 
and by the power of his name to the Sec- 
ond of December and S^dan ; must christen 
over again her bridges of Jena, Austerlitz, 
Magenta, her boulevards of Sebastopol 
and Trocadero, her streets of Bivoli and 
Castiglione; must obliterate from her 
books and her monuments whatever can 
infect youth with the mischievous thirst for 
military glory ; must comprehend that the 
interest and duty of a country do not con- 
sist in a balance with its neighbours, but 
in spreading among all ranks of its own 
inhabitants comfort and instruction. 

If France obstinately insists on being 
stronger than Russia and Germany in its 
armies, and stronger than England and 
America in its fleets, enormous taxes will 
have to be imposed on industry. Industry 
will complain more violently than in past 
times of not being able to compete with the 
foreigner. They will return to protection, 
and all economic progress will be stopped. 
It is time for France to adopt the same ex- 
ternal policy as England, instead of car- 
rying her flag into the four quarters of the 
globe, as the Emperor boasted quite re- 
cently, she ought to devote all her 
strength to make the people fit to exercise 
with judgment the electoral rights that 
have been prematurely confided U> it. 

The foreign policy of the French Gov- 
ernment has been nothing but a series of 
contradictions. There are two policies, 
either of which is intelli^ble. Tne first 
consists in being bent on imposing an uni- 
versal influence or supremacy abroad, and 
consequently in keepms as far as possible 
all neighbours in a con£tion of wei^ess, 
division, and dependence. It would then 
have been the business of France vigour- 
ously and frankly to oppose the unity of 
Italy first, and the unity of Germany next. 
This is the old policy, defended with so 
much talent and eloquence bv M Thiers, 
when he uttered that terrible and pro- 

Shetic sentence, ^* Votu n'avez plus unefaute 
commettre.*' This policy is unmistakable, 
and it is futQe. For it cannot prevent the 



concentration of forces collected by the 
march of ideas and economical interests, 
though it may retard them. Thus it is 
certain that if the French Government 
had not favoured Italian unity, German 
unity would not have been effected so soon. 
There is another policy which consists in 
not meddlins with the affairs of other na- 
tions, and which finds matter for satisfac- 
tion when one of them reaches national 
unity conformably to its wishes, and ac- 
quires more coherence, more wealth, 
more enlightenment, more strength of 
every kind, because commerce allows 
every one to profit by it, and because 
the felicity of all mankind is augmented 
by it. This is the true modem policy — 
that which England now pursues. Unhap- 
pily, Napoleon III. followed both policies 
alternately, in such a way as to lose all the 
advantages and reap all tiie inconveniences 
of both o^e and the other. He only fa- 
voured the development of new nationali- 
ties, to make them his enemies. He de- 
clares war against Bussil^ and goes to 
Mexico to sustain the Latin races against 
-^nglo-Saxon preponderance; a policy of 
equilibrium whicn makes two powerfrd 
foes. He fights for Italv, but withholds 
Rome, and makes himself detested by the 
Italians without satisfying the Ultramon- 
tanes. Weakening Austria, he prepaices 
the triumph of Prussia, whom he favours 
directly in 1866 ; he proclaims the theory 
of great agglomerations. Then immedi- 
ately afterwards he turns towards Austria, 
visits the Emperor Francis Joseph, raises 
the famous barrier of the Main, disquiets 
and menaces Prussia, then believes him- 
self bound to attack the state whose great- 
ness he has helped to secure with his own 
hands. It is hard to imagine a policy 
more surely adopted to lead to the 
gulf. 

France finds herself drawn towards the 
old policy of equilibrium by her dynastic 
traditions and ner aspirations after the 
supremacy of Europe ; towards the modern 
policy of non-intervention abroad and de- 
velopment at home, bv the opinion of the 
more clearsighted of her publicists. It is 
slightly late now to turn to the first ; let 
her then resolutely adopt the second, and 
above all remain constant to it. If after the 
plebiscite Napoleon had disarmed, declar- 
ing that he intended to interfere no more 
in the domestic affairs of Germany, he 
would have forced Prussia to disarmament, 
for the South would never have accepted 
the Prussian military burdens, and already 
in the Northern Confederation the Diet 
was crying for economy. AH alarm dis- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE PUTURB OP FRANCE. 



135 



appearing on the side * of France, the 
pacific movement would have been irresisti- 
ble. It was the writers and other men 
who thrust France into an attitude and a 
policy of aggression, that prevented her 
from triumphing over her rival by peace 
and liberty. 

There is another difficulty which repub- 
lican France will have to meet, in the 
regulation of the relations between the 
Church and the State. The Liberal party 
thinks that the time has come for abolish- 
ing the Concordat, suppressing the budget 
of worship, surrendermc all rights of inter- 
ference in ecclesiastical affairs, in a word, 
for establishing, as in the American Union, 
the free church in the free state. The 
best reasons may certainly be invoked in 
favour of this project, but if the Catholic 
clergy see in it an attempt i^on its rights, 
will the Republic resist the attack that 
will resound without a day's cessation in 
forty thousand pulpits and eighty thou- 
sand confessionals ? If , to reduce them to 
Bilence, recourse is had to the severity of 
the law, here would be a persecution of 
religion as in 1793, and we know the 
dangers of that. One must be a Catholic 
and live in a Catholic country to appreciate 
the perils of such a situation. In a Prot- 
estant country people can form no idea 
of them. Let us take a recent example. 
M. Esquiros, a mild and moderate person, 
as everybody who knew him in England 
can testify, decrees at Marseilles the ex- 
pulsion of the Jesuits. A cry is raised on 
all sides that this is an odious violation of 
liberty. Without doubt, such a step is 
terribly inopportune at a moment when 
there is so much need for assistance from 
all quarters to drive the enemy from the 
country. But this is what his partisans 
say by way of justification. The Jesuits 
teach ultramontane doctrines; these doc- 
trines condemn absolutely all modem lib- 
erties; if, then, the entire vouth of the 
country is formed by them, these liberties 
will be annihilated. We have thus to 
make our choice between the liberty of 
the Jesuits to-day, and the liberty of 
France to-morrow. We will not hesitate 
to sacrifice the first to the second. 

This reasoning must have some sem- 
blance of foundation, as the Swiss, who 
are a sensible and calm people, have made 
the ostracism of the Jesmts one of the 
clauses of the Federal pact. This will 
seem narrow and intolerant, even to the 
party which calls itself advanced. That 
party no longer disturbs itself about these 
religious questions. We have gone past 
them, it thmks. The yoke of old super- 



stitions has been shaken off These dog^ 
matic wrangles are only ancient triflings, 
which have lost all finportance. Yet liiere 
is a fact, which ought to make those re- 
flect who insist on seeking no lessons 
except from the observation of facts. 
Whence comes it that free institutions ap 
pear never to take root or to succeed m 
any Catholic State, either in Europe or 
America? Here are the reasons. First, 
in Catholic countries education is singu- 
larly nckjected. In France, the most ad- 
vanced Catholic country in this respect, 
the proportion of the uninstnicted is 
about one third. This ignorance arises 
from the circumstance that the exercises 
of religious worship require no knowledge 
of reading, and that the clergy, afraid of 
the effects of too much light upon their 
dogmas, show very little disposition to 
encourage the diffusion of knowledge. 
Secondly, the Pope, henceforth infallible, 
condemns as a heresv and a plagtfe free- 
dom of worship, freedom of the press, the 
whole of the existing organization of 
society. Those who defend the system 
known as that of 1789, are thus led to 
wage against the clergy a war that is de- 
fensive, but unrelenting. As it is impossi- 
ble to attack the clergy without touching 
religion, the religious sentiment is violently 
shocked. Now as this sentiment is still 
the only basis of morality, that in turn 
is lowered and relaxed. Relaxation of 
morals has invariably led to enfeeblement 
of character. Now without morals and 
without character, liberty is impossible. 
A state divided against itself cannot stand, 
say the Scriptures. How specially true 
that is, when the division concerns the 
very foundation of moral life. 

Again, consider that the clergy, having 
in their hands the women, the children, 
and the peasants, thus dispose of a force 
that is enormous, incalculable. It must 
therefore be extremely difficult to found 
on a solid base any regime which the 
Roman Church attacks with all the forces 
at its command. K the Republic in France 
lasts, we shall see renewed, with more 
violence than ever, that ancient struggle 
4>etween the principles of the Revolution 
and those of the Catholic Church, which 
has already been the cause of so many 
disasters, and cost so much blood. This 
struggle seems to be henceforth without 
an issue, now that the Pope has declared 
that the two principles are as irreconcila- 
ble as good and evil, darkness and light. 
France being no more prepared to re- 
nounce Catholicism than to renounce 
modem principles, it is impossible to fore- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



136 



THE FUTURE OP FRANCE. 



see all the difficulties which will grow out 
of this conflict. 

Will France remain a Republic ? Scarce- 
ly any one believes that it will, except the 
most enthusiastic among the republicans. 
Tet this would evidently be the best thing 
she could do. To begin with, it is the 
regime qui dwise le moins as M. Thiers 
said in 1848. Next, now that there is a 
claimant the more, the Prince Imperial, the 
dangers which would menace any restora- 
tion would be greater than ever. The 
new sovereign would have against him not 
only two or three evicted pretenders, but 
the whole body of republicans, who would 
never for^ve him for having once more 
immolated the Republic. He would thus 
have to contend with the most active and 
resolute men in the whole nation. He 
would be obliged to retain both universal 
suffirage and the freedom of the press. 
Now, would even a prince of the large 
fiGimily of Orleans, full of merit as that 
family may be, be able for lon^ to make a 
stand against these engines of demolition ? 
He would speedily have against him the 
minority of the electors in the large towns, 
and would find himself in consequence 
brought down to the position which ruined 
Nap(Seon III., that is to say, compelled to 
adopt rigorous measures of repression at 
home, or else to seek a diversion abroad. 
We diould then again have a period of 
some score of years of intestine discord, 
followed by a new turning up of ,the 
ipround ; and this would have to be again 
and again recommenced. 

The difficulty of establishing monarchy 
in France depends on several causes. 
Firstly, royalty no longer possesses pres- 
tige, and no lonzer inspires respect. Now, 
as Mr. Bagehot has well shown, tiiis is one 
of the essential conditions of all hereditary 
power. Secondly, royalty has had so lit- 
tle success, and has fallen to pieces so 
often, that it appears to offer no more 
guarantees for stability than a republican 
presidency; and, under these circuni- 
stances, it has this particular drawback, 
that, instead of the presidential election 
every four years, the nation has the far 
graver crisis of a revolution every fifteen or 
eighteen years. Thirdly, the sovereigu, nat- 
urally seeking to strengthen himself by 
the conservative elements, is obliged to 
give his hand to the clergy. As the most 
enlightened and the most energetic men in 
the country are hostile to clerical influence, 
they will not be slow to declare war 
against the sovereign. This is what de- 
stroyed Charles X. Fourthly, the young 
men are attracted to the Republic because 



it recalls the glories of Rome, of Athens 
and of the French Revolution, with which 
their imagination is inflamed. Fifthly, it 
is repeated on all sides that the irresisti- 
ble progress of democracy must lead all 
over the world to the Republic ; and the 
sight of the prodigious prosperity of the 
American Union makes people suppose 
that Europe would enjoy the same feli- 
city, if she adopted the same institutions. 
Finally, as they see the horrible war, 
accursed by all the peoples, into which 
Napoleon's quarrel with the King of 
Prussia about the Spanish throne precip- 
jitated two great nations, a great man^ 
persons of decidedly conservative princi- 
I pies have come to detest monarchs and the 
monarchic system. 

In face of the numerous and weighty 
difficulties attending the establishment of 
monarchy in France, people persuade them- 
selves that the country would act wisely 
in keeping the regime into which the storm 
drove it, even though the men who are its 
representatives should not accomplish the 
heroic task which they undertook, the ex- 
pulsion of the foreign enemy. But in their 
choice of a government, nations are deter- 
mined not by theoretical considerations, 
or by long-sighted care for the future, but 
by the necessities of the moment. To-day, 
more than ever, a government is bound to 
preserve order and security enoueh for 
industry and commerce to ffo on, and place 
within the reach of the miUions of labour- 
ers who live on wages the means of win- 
ning their daily bread. Once, in antiquity 
and in the middle ages, societies could sup- 
port a strong dose of anarchy, because tlie 
relations of exchange bein^ very limited, 
the circle of production and economic con- 
sumption was not easily disturbed. Now 
that the division of labour, the use of ma- 
chinery, and the intervention of credit, 
have so peculiarly complicated the whole 
social mechanism, anarchy rapidly brings 
ruin for the masters, and famine for the 
workmen. Then the first invoke an iron 
hand for the restoration of order; the 
second, on the contrary, expect a remedy 
from revolutionary measures, which aug- 
ment still further the contraction of credit, 
the universal want of confidence, the sus- 
pension of business. These profound di- 
visions provoke civil wars, which in Rome 
and Greece, as in the Republics of the 
Middle Ages, have always caused despot- 
ism to be regarded as the single harbour 
of refuge. 

In France after 1848 nearly everybody, 
willingly or unwillingly, rallied round the 
RepubHo. By the mouth of Lamartine it 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE FUTURE OP PRANCE. 



137 



was declared in words of sedoctiye poetry, 
that she brought into thd world peace 
anong Dations, harmony among classes. 
France and Europe were filled with hope. 
But behold, the social question rises up in 
the midst. The workmen cry for the droit 
au travail and the organisation of labour. 
Louis Blanc, Consid^rant, Pierre Leroux, 
Proudhon, constitute themselves the organ 
of these demands, which could not poasibly 
have any practical issue. In June the 
Tiolent dissolution of the national work- 
shops causes blood to flow in torrents. 
All the old royalists and the peasants are 
seized with panic. The Bed spectre fills 
them with the most insane alarms; and 
they all throw themselves with ignoble 
precipitation into the arms of the nephew 
of a tyrant, who had destroyed France in 
1815. 

The pure republicans charge it as a 
crime to the socialists that they raised the 
labour question, because they thus over- 
threw the Republic. This reproach is not 
well founded. For, to begin with, this 
formidable question, arose of itself, inas- 
much as it was already fermenting in 
England, and as since then it has invaded 
every country on the Continent. Then 
again we do not know whether posterity 
may not see in t^hat the principal, or it 
may be, the only merit of the revolution 
of 1848. The true criminals were the 
cowards who voted for Louis Napoleon, 
out of dread of communism ; and their 
cowardice arose from their ignorance. If 
they had only reflected, they would have 
perceived that no country in the world is 
more safe against communism than France, 
where more than twenty million persons 
have a share more or less great of proper- 
ty. Unfortunately imaginary terrors are 
as dangerous as fears that have a founda- 
tion. But it is time for the French pro- 
prietors to fortify their nerves and open 
their eyes. A people which has not self- 
control enough to endure the discussion of 
social questions, ought to give up liberty, 
for henceforth these debates are destined 
to become more and more general and 
violent. 

Unless the present war has the effect of 
depressing the working classes to a verjr 
singular degree, the Republic will not faii 
to call up the same problems as in 1818. 
They are the inevitable consequence of 
the rising conflict between the sentiments 
which Christianity has spread abroad, and 
the rights which the modem era recog- 
nizes in the lower classes, on the one side, 
and the economic condition of these classes 
on the other. The Gospel abounds in 



ideas of equality. It brings good tidings 
to the poor, it promises them the reign of 
justice, it condemns the rich. St. Paul 
declares that he who does not work should 
not eat. All this is no more than an ideal, 
I admit ; but it is an ideal which cannot 
but inflame those who have an interest in 
thinking it capable of realization. Be- 
sides, modem constitutions recognize all 
men as equal, and accord to all the right 
of participating equally in the nomination 
of those who make the laws. Now what 
is the lot of the minority ? Evidently it 
is not what the ordinary sentiments of 
humanity mizht make us wish that it 
should be, and there is no one who does 
not avow that in the interests of Justice 
and the common weal, the share of those 
who furnish the labour ought to be great- 
er than it is. This is what makes the 
work man seek in every way for some 
means of increasing wages, and urges him 
to call for the intervention of the law, if 
need be, to secure that end. Unhappily 
no system has been discovered which can 
satisfy these aspirations, and if such a 
system were in existence in theory, it 
could not come at once into practice, be- 
cause there can be no economic transfor- 
mation which does not operate most slowly. 

But one of the necessary effects of the 
proclamation of a Republic is that it ex- 
cite^ the hope of the lower classes. The 
Republic appears to them as a promised 
l^d where milk and honey are to flow for 
the whole world, and where the work- 
man's condition must receive amelioration 
necessarily and promptly. The people is 
the true sovereign. How should the 
sovereign be reduced to suffer privations ? 
Is it not the people, then, who appoint the 
lawmakers, and so themselves cause the 
laws to be made ? Why should not they 
impose laws, determining a more equitable 
distribution of the fruits of toil ? 

The difficulty that we are now pointing 
out is inherent in the very constitution of 
democratic societies. Throughout the in- 
terval from Aristotle to Montesquieu, all 
those who have gone to the bottom of 
political questions, have declared that 
without equality of conditions democracy 
ciinnot subsist, that it advances to its 
downfall as soon as ever inequality be- 
comes too visible. Inequality breeds dis- 
content in the classes which are least well 
off; they wish to apply a remedy by means 
of the law. Those who are better off re- 
sist. Civil war flames out, and from 
anarchy comes despotbm. In 1857 Ma- 
caulay foretold that the United States 
would pass through this ordeaL 



Digitized by 



Googk 



138 



THE *'UTURE OP FRANCE. 



♦* The day will come when in the State 
of New York, a multitude of people, not 
one of whom has had more than half a 
breakfast, or expects to havo more than 
half a dinner, wiU choose a legislature. Is 
it possible to doubt what sojrt of legislature 
wUl be chosen ? On one side is a states- 
man preaching patience, respect for vested 
rights, strict observance of public &ith. 
On the other is a demagogue ranting 
about the tyranny of capitalists and 
usurers, and asking whv anybody should 
be permitted to dnnk champagne, and to 
ride in a carriage, while thousands of 
honest folks are in want of necessaries. 
Which of the two candidates is likely to 
be preferred by a working man who hears 
bis children crying for more bread? I 
seriously apprehend that you will, in some 
such season of adversity as I have de- 
scribed, do things which will prevent 
prosperity firom returning. Either some 
Cffisar or Napoleon will seize the reins of 
government with a strong hand, or your 
republic will be as fearfully plundered and 
laid waste bv barbarians in the twentieth 
century as the Roman empire was in the 
fifth; with this difference, that the Huns 
and Vandals who ravaged the Roman 
empire came firom without, and that your 
Huns and Vandals will have been engen- 
dered within your own country by your 
own institutions." ♦ 

In the United States the danger pointed 
out by Macaulay does not yet break out, 
because there is plenty of room there for 
all the world **au banquet de la tn€,^' and 
because everybody there is either a pro- 
prietor or may become one, and in any 
case makes very large earnings. But 
sooner or later the trial awaits all civilized 
societies. Everywhere the suffrage is be- 
ing extended until it becomes universal. 
Aner that the moment comes when the 
people wishes to use its right of law-mak- 
ing, to change the laws which regulate the 
distribution of wealth. Then the struggle 
bursts forth in which freedom periiuies. 
The future seems to be this : either prog- 
ress will produce a more peHect equality, 
and then free and democratic institutions 
will be established to consecrate and up- 
hold it, or else the inequality will not be 
corrected, and will go on increasing as in 
the days of antiquity, and then there 
comes an end to freedom. 

Many signs show that we ought not to 
despair. The working classes by means of 
better education will come by thrift and 
habits of association to take their share in 

* Letter from Lord Maoaalmy to Hr. H. 8. Ban- 
daU of New York, ICfty 28. 1867. 



industrial and landed property. Tl.e upper 
classes will facilitate this movement of 
emancipation by the suppression or reform 
of the laws which interpose any obstacle 
in the way of it. Only, even with the 
most favourable conditions, this movement 
will be very slow, exactly like that which 
has brought the bourgeoisie to the level 
that it now occupies, and wde to the coun- 
try that would hasten it by violence. 
That would only retard it. Here is 
France's greatest danger at the present 
moment. 

To resist the storm France possesses a 
sheet-anchor of safety, stronger than any 
other country has, save only the United 
States. This is the diffusion of landed 
property among a very large number of 
families. The solid mass of peasant pro- 
prietors offers elements of order that are 
mvinoible. But thev are too ready to take 
fright, and to vote for a sovereign, were it 
a log or a stork, provided it promised or- 
der and tranquillity. This is what men- 
aces the establishment of the Republic. 
Add to this, that the rich bourgeois in 
France have always had the greatest hor- 
ror of free discussion, and that in 1830 
they dispersed the Saint-Simonians, and 
condemned them to prison, because these 
reformers discoursed m public upon social 
questions. Will peasants and bourgeois 
have more courage to-day ? We can only 
hope so. 

The capital point is to ascertain what 
the inclinations of the workmen of the 
towns will be after the end of the war. 
In 1848 the workmen of Paris uttered a 
sublime and simple sentence, ^^ Nous met- 
tons trois mois de gene au service de la Rd- 
publique" '^^7 looped that three months 
would have sufficed to reorganize society 
and ameliorate their own condition. 

K they have preserved the same illu- 
sions, as they will necessarily be deceived, 
grave disorders would have again to be 
feared, especially in a country lying amid 
so many ruins. But it may happen, on the 
other hand, that the very misfortunes of 
the war will have the effect of calming 
perilous impatience, and preventing civu 
discord. The danger lies in a war of 
classes. Now hatred of the enemy unites 
all classes in a common sentiment, that is 
stronger and more absorbing than all the 
rest. How long this feeling will endure 
after the departure of the Prussians, that 
is the question. Would it not be idle to 
suppose that the voice of the forei^er 
might make itself heard in such a crisis, it 
is to the French bourgeoisie that the £nff- 
liflh press should address itself to make it 



Digitized by 

A 



Googk 



THE FUTURE OF FRANCE. 



139 



understand that the future of their coun- 
try rests, not on military courage, but on 
civil courage. If the bourgeoisie does not 
take fright at a few local disorders, if it 
refuses to be alarmed by the harangues of 
a few dreamers, and the violences of a few 
energumens, if it calmly organizes the con- 
servative forces that are at its disposal, 
without invoking the aid of a master, then 
freedom may be established and consoli- 
dated. But if the bourgeoisie abandons 
itself to the same panic as in 1850, all is 
lost, and a new period of repression and 
adventure will open. It is ot no avail to 
lay the bl&me on Socialism. Socialist 
ideas exist at the present day in every 
country. We must, therefore, learn to live 
with it, to subdue and to disarm it by jus- 
tice and enlightenment, without rushing 
into servitude in order to escape from the 
sight of it. 

The danger of a restoration would be all 
the greater, as that would necessarily as- 
sume a more or less pronounced clerical 
tinge. Several causes would contribute 
to such a result. In the midst of the con- 
fusion and disorder of other parties, the 
clerical party will grow and gain new 
strength, because it is organized; under- 
BtancU obedience and discipline, and has 
in each parish one or two organs, repeat- 
ing by command of the bishops the same 
discourse and the same appeal to religious 
feelinc. A man who is in trouble turns 
inwardly upon himself; he repents of his 
misdeecis, and seeks consolation from the 
faith of his childhood. This is what 
F^rance will probably do. She will throw 
herself upon the Catholic faith, the only 
faith she knows, forgetting that it is Cath- 
olicism which has undone her, by making 
her unfit for the practice of liberty. The 
new soverei^ will make a pact with the 
clergy, and it will be the clergy who dic- 
tate the conditions of the alliance. When 
all is falling into ruin, the Church remains 
standing, because it has its roots not in 
material interests which destruction is able 
to overtake, but in the religious sentiment, 
which it is the peculiar e^t of disasters 
to exalt. If, at least, France could find 
repose in the restoration of the throne 
resting on the altar, even at the price of a 
portion of her liberties, I could conceive 
that the French, profoundly discouraged 
at so many vain attempts, might take ref- 
uge in such a port, unworthy as it might 
be to receive the noble vessel that hoisted 
the flag of 1789. But what a vision, that 
a regime which Italy, Spain, Austria, hare 
cast oft, should burst forth into fr^sh life 
in the country of Yoltaire. As soon as 



ever the people had recovered from the pro- 
found dejection caused by their present 
calamities, the same spirit which produced 
the revolutions of 1789 and 1830 would 
once more begin to breathe, and would as- 
sail religion for making itself the prop of 
royalty, and royalty for giving its counte- 
nance to religion. There would be a new 
version of the Restoration, witli these 
three enormous difficulties superadded — 
universal suffrage, freedom of the press, 
and the still fresh recollection of the Re- 
public for the third time stifled in its crar 
die. 

Those who would again seek safety in 
despotism ought to understand that these 
constant changes of system exhaust the 
nation's moral forces, and make it doubtful 
of its own future. Provost Paradol asked 
himseli^ even then with alarm, " Can this 
be the reviving symptom of an incurable 
disease which ravages our life, and is des- 
tined to put an end to our existence?'* 
And, in fact, what is it but perpetual revo- 
lutions and the inability to constitute a 
government, which undermine Spain, Mex- 
ico, Peru, and most other Catholic coun- 
tries ? Each regime, as it is overthrovm, 
leaves behind it partisans bent on restoring 
it by force, and thus civil war is alwavs im- 
minent. Respect for law and obeaience 
to legal authorities, two essential condi- 
tions of all free government, cease to exist. 
The resources and the intelligence of the 
citizens, instead of being applied to the 
various tasks of progress, are consumed in 
sterile strife, and the longer this fatal state 
endures, the harder it is to emerge from it. 
These efforts, ever renewed and ever fruit- 
less, to establish freedom, would throw 
France into a condition of deadly discour- 
agement, and would perpetuate disorder 
and the spirit of rebeluon. 

** The more I observe," said M. Guizot, 
" the more persuaded do I remain that the 
republic, so noble a form of government, is 
yet the most difficult of governments." 
The remark is true, and we must admit that 
France is little prepared for the realization 
of the republican regime. But the consti- 
tutional r^ffime is msirdly any easier, for 
that demands moderation and judgment on 
the part of the nation, and on the part of 
the sovereign much tact and selMenial. 
The Repubuc in France would have one 
advantage. The future would work for it. 
If it comd endure ten ^ears its stability 
would seem to be indefinitely assured, while 
at the end of the same time any possible 
dynasty would be almost certainly drawing 
near to its feJl. The first years wt>uli be 
tiie most full of peril for the Republic, sub- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



140 



THE FUTURE OF FRANCE. 



sequent years for monarchy. Every one 
simply regarding the crown as a temporary 
possession, and considering it impossible 
for power to be hereditarily fixed in one 
honse, it wonld be extremely hard to build 
the edifice of monarchy on such shifting 
sands as these. Difficulties for difficulties, 
it might be as well to resume the old motto 
of the Polish Palatine — Malo perictUosam 
Itbertatem quam tranquillam iervitutem. But 
there is good reason for fearing that the 
bourgeoisie would adopt a less heroic pro- 
gramme. 

Whatever the regime which ultimately 
carries the day, one reform will still be ur- 
gent, the reform of the press. The press, 
it is said, is the fourth estate. A mistake ; 
it is the only estate, for it is the press which 
forms opimon, and public opinion is the 
true sovereign. Now, the French press is 
entirely below its mission. In the first 
place, with a few exceptions, the journals 
publish no news and no documents relating 
to foreign countries. The reader thus be- 
comes accustomed to ignore what it ought 
to be indispensable to him to know, and to 
argue as if France were the only countiy 
in the world. The opposition papers attack 
everything that is done by the government, 
and the officiid papers are just as indiscrim- 
nate in their praise. The journals of the 
widest circulation are those which live on 
scandal and falsehood. In ordinary times, 
the harm done b^ this pestilent press is not 

Eerceived; but its ravages come into full 
ght in times of crisis. One paper like the 
great English journals, as well informed 
and as honourably conducted, would be 
worth more to France than the finest fleet 



or the most powerful army. Among the 
books published in England, in France, and 
in Germany, the difierence is not striking ; 
between the English newsbapers and those 
of other countries, the aistance is enor- 
mous. They have, assumed on the conti- 
nent that it suffices to imitate the constitu- 
tional forms of the English Crovemment. 
They begin to see that without a well-in- 
formed, reasonable, and influential press, 
these forms are not enough for the estab- 
lishment of national freedom. 

In fine, France may come forth from her 
present severe trial regenerated, as Prussia 
did from the disaster of Jena. But for this 
she will have to impose upon herself a stem 
discipline. She ought forthwith to devote 
to education what she used to give to pleas- 
ure and arms, to undergo the harsh law of 
compulsory military service, to purify her 
manners, to learn respect for the laws, and 
to establish a press capable of training 
opinion for the ei\joyment of freedom. . 
The consolidation of the Republic raises so 
many grave difficulties as to seem almost 
impossible ; but a monarchical restoration, 
inevitable in case of civil war, and easy at 
first, could offer no guarantees of stability. 
It is time for France to brace herself up, if 
she would escape the lot of certain other 
Catholic countries, equally incapable of 
supporting a regiilar government, and of 
establishing free institutions, and lapsing 
from revolution into revolution in irreme- 
diable decay. We may hope that this will 
not be the destiny of the great people which 
has done so much to spread ideas of equal- 
ity through the world, for that would be an 
irre])arabie disaster for the whole of hu- 
manity. Emilb db Lavelete. 



Thi BaoBirr Gbxjlt Sinanat-HsAT nr Amsb^ 
lOA. '— The recent great sammer-heat in Amer- 
ica (says Mature) has been attracting great 
attention there. According to the records of 
Yale College it has been the hottest summer for 
the last 92 years. ** From July 10, to August 
15, 1870, the mean daily temperature was, at 
New Haven, 85^, and no season sinoe 1778 has 
shown so many consecutive hot days. Oar 
highest temperature this summer was (July 17) 
noted at 98^, and this has only been exceeded 
four times during the period above indicated at 
New Haven, the thermometer rising to 100^ one 
day each year in 1784, 1800, and 1845, whilst 
in 1798 it reached lOl^".'* This wUl be very 
interesting to compare with the temperatures 
ascertain^ this year in England. 



"The Penhstlvhtia Qazbttr,** — I havh 
before me a copy of the Pennsylvania Oazeae, 
April 29, 1756, Nomb. 1427, *' Containing the 
Freshest advioes. Foreign and Doraestiok.*' It 
is printed, three columns in a page, on a species 
of whitey-brown demy paper, and it contains a 
large quantity of matter, commencing with the 
proclamation uf the Honorable Robert Hunter 
Morris, Esq., against the Delaware tribe of In- 
dians, countersigned by the king; but the most 
curious item of interest in it is perhaps the foV- 
bwing: — 

** Jost Imported and to be told br John Troy, 
roaster of the Snow PoUj. a parcel or choice Irish 
Potatoes, and a ftw good servant Hen and Wo- 
men, at Mr. Sim's Wharff, near liarket Street." 
Notes and Queries. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SBED-TIMB AND HARYBST. 



141 



CHAPTER T. 

A COUPLE of days later, the son looked 
down in the morning right out of a rain- 
cloud, oyer the lan<uor<r8 garden at Giir- 
litx. Her daughter, the Earth, had been 
having a great washing, and now she 
would hell) her dear child a little with the 
drying. It was, as it is always, a great 
pleasure to see the old mother settle her- 
self to the task, and with her broad, 
friendly face peer out, now here, now there, 
from the wmte cloud-curtain, and again 
ffrasp the sprinkler, to dampen the 
bleached clothes a little more. On such 
an occasion she was always very sportive ; 
she had the drollest fancies, and played as 
many tricks in her old age as the youngest 
girl, when she is beloved for the nrst time, 
— now she was sad enough to cry, and 
again she laughed heartily. 

To-day, moreover, the old woman had 
reason to laugh, as she looked down into 
the Giirlitz garden. "Now, just look 
there t " cried ^e, and smiled right goldenly 
over the meadow and the green corn, " how 
strangely things go on in this crazy 
world I For long years I have always seen 



of it in his face ; there most be a joke, an 
actual joke, to make him laugh outwardly, 
and that was not wanting at the present 
moment. 

His two youngest children, Nanting and 
Philipping, had come out, and Philipping 
had made a rod of burdocks and nettle 
stalks tied together, and was. flogging the 

?oor, white heathen god, so that Father 
bmuchelskopp laughed heartily; and 
Nanting ran mto the kitchen and brought 
a coal, to give him a pair of moustaches, 
but his father would not allow this. 
** Nanting," said he, " let that go, it misht 
disfigure him, and we may possibly be aole 
to sell him yet. But you may beat him,^ 
— and they did beat him, and Father 
Pomuchelskopp laughed as if he would 
shake himself out of his green trowsers. 

Meanwhile the "Madam" also walked 
out, the dryer half of Pomuchelskopp. 
She was of an extremely tall figure, and 
as dry as the seven lean kine of King Pha- 
raoh. Her eyebrows were always 
puckered up into wrinkles, A if the cares 
of the whole world weighed o*er her mind, 
or her forehead was drawn into peevish 
lines above her nose, as if all the crockery 



down there that pretty, white fellow broken by the maid-servants in this world, 



standing, and holding out a stafif to me, 
that the poor hungry creatures of the hu- 
man race might be able to know when it 
was mid-day, and time for their dinners ; 
and now there stands in his place a stout, 
malicious-looking beast, with green 
breeches, smoking tobacco. Nowhere do 
things go on so strangely as in the world ! '' 
And with that the old woman laughed 
from the bottom of her heart over the 
landlord Herr Pomuchelskopp, who stood 
in his yellow nankeen coat and green plaid 
trowsers, by the sun-dial, in the very place 
where the handsome heathen god, Apollo, 
had stood, only instead of a lyre he had a 
sBort pipe in bos hand ; and yet a shadow 
often passed over her &ce when her eyes 
fell on her handsome, friendly secretary, 
who had for so many years recorded her 
doings with his pencil, and now lay among 
burdocks and nettles in the g^ass. But 
she had to laugh again, for all that. 

Pomuchelskopp laughed also; there 
were no indications of mirth in his face, 
but, whenever, from the height which his 
short stature allowed, he looked around 
him, he laughed in his heart : " All mine 1 
All minel" The sunbeam which bright- 
ened the world was not noticed by him, 



during a whole year, had belonged to her ; 
and her mouth looked as sour as if she had 
drank vinegar and fed on sorrel all her 
days. She wore in the morning at this 
warm season of the year, a black merino 
over-sack, which she had once bought in a 
time of mourning and still wore; and 
through the day, cotton garments dyed 
olive-green with alder-bark, and to make 
up for the extravagance of Pomuchels- 
kopp's new blue dress-coat with bright 
buttons, she bundled up her head with old 
bandages and caps, out of which her anx- 
ious face peered like a half-starved mouse 
out of a bunch of tow ; and about the rest 
of her body she heaped one old thing 
above another, till her poor little legs 
looked like a couple of pins lost in a bun- 
dle of rags. However, I would advise 
every servant to keep out of her way, for 
even when her poor bones flew around 
frivolously on velvet and silken wings, her 
troubled soul was anxiously reckoning the 
expense and the wearing out. 

She was such a mother as one reads of 
in books, — she planned day and night how 
she might make over Malchen's coat into 
an under-jacket for Philipping ; she loved 
her children according to the Scriptures, 



it touched neither his face nor his heart ; ! and chastened them in like manner, and 
the sunbeam which shone for him was | Nanting could often show for one spot on 
properly a sum in arithmetic, which his jacket two on his back, and for every 
warmed his heart, but there were no signs ' one on his trousers two on the flesh they 
[Entered tecordiog to Act of CoogreM, In the yev 1870, by Littell tt Gmj, In the Office oi the Librarian 

of Congress at Washington.] 



Digitized by LjOOQIC 



142 



8BBD-TIME AND HARVEST. 



covered. YeSy she was strong against her- 
self and agamst her own flesh and blood, 
but she could r^oice ulso, according to the 
scriptures, with moderation; and, as she 
came out to-daj, and saw the joyous activ- 
ity of her youngest ofbpring, there flew 
over her face sudb a hopeful fight as when 
the February sun loc^ks down on the fast- 
frozen soil, and says, '< Patience! there 
will be a good crop of potatoes here this 
year." 

And she was also such a wife as one 
reads of in books; no neighbor could 
charge her with neglecting her duties a 
hair's breadth in thoueht, word or deed, 
all her days, although Pomuchelskopp was 
in her opinion quite light-minded, be- 
cause often when joking was going on he 
would laugh right out loud, which, she 
thought unbecoming in the father of a 
family, and she feared he would at length 
ruin his fortunes and bring herself and 
her children to beggary. She did another 
thin^, which the^ minister had not incul- 
cated at her#etrothal, — she condemned 
his failings, and gave him daily of her 
own vinegar to <&ink and of her sorrel 
to eat. She tutored him — that is to say 
when they were alone — as the did her 
youngest child, her Philipping, and as if 
Pomuchelskopp still wore his green plaid 
trousers fastened behind; in short, she 
drove him just as she pleased. She did 
not beat him — Grod forbid I all was with 
dignity. Merely by her manner of speiUc- 
ing, she knew how to express her opmion 
of nim : if he was unusually frivolous, she 
called him sharply and shortiy by the last 
syllable of his name, just *' Kopp 1 " ordi- 
narily she called him by the middle syl- 
lable, '^Muchel," and when he was quite 
after her own heart, and sat sulkily in 
the sofarcomer striking at the flies, she 
called him by the first syllable, and in an 
affectionate tone, '* Poking." 

She did not caU him " Poking " to-day. 
"Kopp!" said she, on account of his 
light-Qiinded behavior with the children, 
^ Kopp, why do you stand there smoking 
like a chimney? I think we should caU 
at the Pastor's." 

<'My Klucking," said Pomuchelskopp, re- 
luctantly takinff the pipe from his mouth, 
** we can go. f will put on my dress-coat 
directly." 

" Dress-coat I Why so ? Do you think 
I shall dress up in black silk ? It is only 
our Pastor." She emphasized the *' our," 
as if she had spoken of her shepherd, and 
as if she considered the Pastor merely 
their hired servant. 

'^ Just as you please, my EDiuhning, said 



Pomuchelskopp, ^ I can put on my brown 
overcoat. Phuipping, let the beating go; 
Mama doesn't like it." 

<< Kopp 1 let the children alone, attend 
to yourself. You can keep on your nan- 
keen coat, it is clean and good." 

*<My Klucking," said Pomuchelskopp, 
** always noble, my dear Klucking 1 If we 
owe nothing to the Pastor's family, we 
owe sometmiu^ to ourselves. And, if 
Malchen and Salchen are going too, they 
must dress themselves up, and wen we will 
set out." 

This argument gained Pomuchelskopp 
the permission to array himself in his 
brown overcoat. He was so rejoiced at 
having carried his point, a thing which 
did not often happen, that in his grati- 
tude he desired to confer some pleasure 
upon his Kliicking, and make her a 
sharer in his own satisfaction ; for no one 
must do Pomuchelskopp the injustice to 
suppose that he was overbearing in his 
own house, — nol there he was rather 
humble and depressed. He pointed, 
therefore, across the fields ana said, 
** Just look, that is all ours I " 

'<MucheC you point too far," said the 
lady shortly ; " all that over yonder be- 
longs to Pumpelhagen." 

" lou are righC that is all Pumpel- 
hagen. But" — he added, and the litUe 
eyes looked greedilv. towards Pumpel- 
hagen, "who knows? If God spares my 
life, and I sell my property in Pomerania 
at a good bargain, and times continue 
good, and the old Kammerrath dies, and 
his son gets into debt " 

"Yes, Muchel," interrunted his wife, 
and across her face flittea that derisive 
gleam, which was the only approach to 
a smile ever seen on it, " yes, just as old 
Strohpagel said: *If I were ten years 
vounger, and hadn't this lame leg, and 
hadn't a wife — you should see what « 
fellow I would be I ' " 

" Hatihning," said Pomuchelskopp, mak- 
ing a face as if he were grieved to the 
heart, "how can you talk so? As if I 
wished to be rid of youl Without the 
thirty thousand dollars, which your father 
left you, I never could have bought Giir- 
litz. And what a fine estate Giirlitz is I 
See 1 this is all Giirlitz 1 " and he pointed 
again over the fields. 

"Yes, Kopp," said his wife, in a bard 
tone, " all but the Pastor's fi ^Id, which 
you have let slip out of vour fingers.** 

"Ah, Kliicking," said Pomuchelskopp, 
as they left the garden, " always the I^&a- 
tor's field 1 what can I do ? See, I am aa 
honest, straight-forward man; what can 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



143 



I do against such a pair of sly old fellows 
as Hab^rroann and the Pastor ? But the 
day is not over yet, Monsieur Haber- 
manni We shall have something to say 
to each other yet, Merr Pastor I " 

At the Pastor's house, this morning, 
three pretty little girls were sitting in the 
Frau Pastorin's neat parlor, busy as bees, 
their fingers sewing and their tongues 
chatting at the same time, and loo^g, 
amid the white linen, aS fresh and red as 
ripe strawberries on a white plate ; these 
were Louise Habermann and the little 
twins, Mining and Lining Niissler. 

" Children," said the little, round Frau 
Pastorin, as she now and then looked in 
from the kitchen, ^ you cannot think what 
a pleasure it is to me in my old age, when 
I put away my clean linen in the linen- 
trunk, and think with every piece when 
it was spun and when it was sewed 1 And 
how prudent it makes one, to know for 
oneself how much pains it has cost 1 Mi- 
ning, Mining, your seam is crooked I Good 
heayens, Louise ! I believe you are look- 
ing off half the time, yet you sew right 
along, and get no knots in your thread. 
But now I must go and take up the pota- 
toes, for my Pastor will be here soon," 
and with that she ran out of the door, 
looking back, however, to say, '< Mining 
and Lming, vou must stay here to dinner 
to-day 1" And so she flew from the 
kitchen to the parlor, and from the parlor 
back to the kitchen, like the pendulum of 
a clock, and kept everything in running 
order. 

But how came Lining and Mining Niiss- 
ler to be in the Frau Pastorin's sewing- 
\ school ? It happened in this way. 

Wlien the little twins had got so far that 
they could speak the '* r " plainly, and no 
longer played in the sand, and ran after 
Frau Niissler all day long, sayins, *' Mother, 
what shidl we do now ? ** then Frau Niiss- 
ler said to young Jochen that it was 
high time the chudren went to school; 
they must have a governess. Jochen had 
no objections, and his brother-in-law, the 
Sector Baldrian, undertook the task of 
procuring one. When she had been six 
months at Rexow, Frau Niissler said she 
was a cross old thing, she scolded the little 
girls from morning to night and made 
tkem so skittish that they did not know 
how to behave ; she must go. .Thereupon 
Kaufman Kurz looked up another; and 
one day, when nobody in Kexow dreamed 
of impending evil, a sort of grenadier 
walked in at the door, with heavy black 
eyebrows, and sallow complexion, and with 
spectacles on her nose, ana announced her- 



self as the new " governess.** She beffan 
to talk French to the little twins, and as 
she observed that the poor little creatures 
'were so ignorant that they could not un- 
derstand her in the least, she turned, in 
the same language, to young Jochen. Such 
a thing had never happened to voung 
Jochen in his life ; he let his pipe fall from 
his mouth, and as they were drinking 
coffee he said, in order to say something, 
<< Mother, ask the new school-ma'am to take 
another cup." 

This one was a " governess " over the 
whole house, and Frau Niissler stood it 
bravely for a while ; but finally she said, 
" Stop I This won't do ; if anybody is to 
command here it is I, for lam the nearest, 
as Frau Pastorin says ; " and sht gave the 
grenadier her marching orders. Then 
uncle Brasig offered his assistance, and en- 
gaged a teacher, — " A smart one," he said, 
'' always in good spirits, and she can play 
you dead on the harpsichord." He was 
right; one evening in the winter, there 
arrived at Rexow a little blue-cheeked, 
hump-backed bodv. who, after the first ten 
minutes, attacked the new piano, which 
Jochen had bought at auction, and be- 
laboured it as if she were threshing wheat. 
When she had gone to bed, young Jochen 
opened the piano, and when he saw that 
three strings were broken, he shut it up 
again, and said, << Yes, what shall we do 
about it ? " 

There were lively times in the house 
now ; the ^1-governess ran and romped 
with the httle girls, until Frau Niissler 
came to the conclusion that her oldest, 
Lining, had really more sense than the 
mamselle. She wished to inform herself 
how the mamselle managed the children 
in school-hours ; she requested, therefore, 
to be shown a plan of their studies, and 
the next day Lining brought her a great 
sheet of paper with all the "branches" 
marked out. There was German and 
French, Orthography and Creography, and 
Religion, and Biblical History, and other 
History, and also Biblical Natural History, 
and then to conclude with, music, and 
music, and music. 

" £h 1 " said Frau Niissler to Jochen, " she 
may teach them all the music she wants 
to, for all me, if the religion is only of the 
right sort. What do you say, Jochen ? " 

" Yes," said Jochen, "it is idl as true as 
leather 1" 

Well, she might have stayed, if Lining 
had not let out, accidentally, that mamselle 
played jack-stones with them in the Bibli- 
cal History; and as Frau Niissler heard 
one day, during the " Religion " hour, such 



Digitized by 



Googk 



144 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



a romping in the school-room that she 
opened the door suddenly, to see what 
kind of religion was goiug on, behold ! 
Mamselle was playing " Cuckoo ** with the 
children. Maaan^ Niissler could not ap- 
prove of this lively sort of religion, so 
Mamselle '* Hop-on-the-hill " hopped after 
the grenadier. 

It was very inconvenient, because it was 
now the middle of the fourth quarter, and 
if Frau Niissler complained that the chil- 
dren were running wild, Jochen only said ; 
" Yes, what shall I do about it ? " But he 
began to study the Rostock " Times " with 
uncommon interest ; and one day he laid 
aside the " Hmes," and ordered Christian 
to get out the " phantom." His good wife 
was considerably astonished, for she had 
no idea what he was thinking of; but as 
she looked at the pipe side of his face, and 
noticed that his mouth was stretched wider 
than usual, which represented a friendly 
smile, she gave herself no more anxiety, 
and said, <' Let him go 1 He has something 
good in his head." 

After three days Jochen returned with 
an elderly, almost transparent-looking 
lady, and it went through the whole re- 
gion like a running fire : " Only think ! 
young Jochen has got a governess himself." 

Brasig came the next Sundav to see her ; 
he was tolerably contented with her, 
•• But," said he, finally, " look out, young 
Jochen, she has nerves." 

BriGisig was not only a good judge of 
horses, but a judge of human nature ; he 
was right, — Mamselle was nervous, very 
nervous indeed. The poor little twins 
went about on tiptoe, Mamselle took away 
Lining's ball, because she had accidentally 
tlirown it at the window, and locked up 
the piano, so that Lining could no longer 
play, " Our cat has nine kittens," the only 
piece which she had learned from Mamselle 
" Hop-on-the-hill." Before long Mamselle 
added cramps to her nerves, and Madam 
Niissler must run with sundry bottles of 
"drops," and both Fika and Corlin must 
sit up with her nights, because either one 
alone would be afraid. " 8end her away," 
said uncle Brasig ; but Frau Niissler was 
too good for that, she sent rather for the 
doctor. Dr. Strump was summoned from 
Rahnstadt, and after examining the pa- 
tient, he pronounced it a very interesting 
case, the more so that he had lately been 
studying " the night-side of Nature." 

Young Jochen and his wife thought 
nothing worse from that than that the 
doctor had lately been a good deal out 
of his bed o' nights, but he meant some- 
thing quite different. 



One day, when the doctor was with 
the mamselle, Corlin called from the 
stairs: — 

.''Frau, Frau I there is mischief going 
on. The doctor has been stroking her 
over her face, and now she is asleep, and 
talking in her sleep. She told me I had 
a lover." 

"Grod bless me I" cried Brasig, who 
happened to be there, " what sort of busi- 
ness is the woman carrying on ? " and he 
went up-stairs with Frau Niissler. After 
a while he came down, and asked, " Now, 
what do you say to, it young Jochen ? " 

Jochen reflected awhile, and then said, 
"Yes, that doesn't help the matter, 
Brasig." 

"Jochen," said Brasig, going up and 
down the room with great strides, "1 said 
to you before, * send her away;' now I 
say, don't send her away. I asked her if 
it would rain to-morrow, and she said to 
me, in her somnambulic state, that it 
would rain torrents. If it rains torrents 
to-morrow, then take down your barometer 
from the wall, — barometers are of no use, 
and yours has stood there two years, 
always at fair weather, — and hang her up 
there; you can benefit yourself and the 
whole region." 

Young Jochen said nothing, but when 
next morning it rained torrents, he was 
silent indeed, and his astonishment kept 
him dumb for three days. 

The rumor spread in the neighborhood, 
that young Jochen had a fortune-teller at 
his house, and that she had prophesied the 
great rain on Saturday, and also that 
Corlin Eranger and Lispector Brasig 
would be married within a year. Dr. 
Strump naturally did his share toward 
setting this interesting case in a clear 
light, and it was not long before Frau 
Niissler's quiet house became a kind of 
pilgrim's shrine, to which resorted all who 
were curious, or scientific, or interested in 
physical science ; and, because Frau Niissler 
would have nothing to do with it, and 
Jochen was incapable, Zachary Brasig 
undertook the business, when the doctor 
was not there, and ushered troops of 
visitors into the mamselle's room, and ex- 
plained her somnambulic condition; and 
before the bed, by the mamselle, sat Chris- 
tian the coachman, who was not afraid of 
the devil himself for Corlin and Fika 
would no longer watch by her, even in the 
day time, having taken it into their heads 
that she was not respectable; because 
they translated Brasig's expression, " son- 
nenbuhlerisch " (somnambulic), into Platt- 
Deutsch, and said the mamselle was " siin- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



145 



nenbohlerisch'' (no better than she should 
be). 

Among the visitors, who came to see 
this wonder, was the young Baron Ton 
Mallerjahn of Graunenmeer, who came 
daily to investigate the physical sciences 
and thought no narm of going into mam- 
Belle's room without Brasig. Frau Nussler 
was disturbed by the impropriety of the 
thing, and requested Jochen to put a stop 
to the nuisance, upon whiclf Jochen re- 
plied that they might put Christian up 
there ; but when Christian came down one 
day, and said the Herr Baron had sent him 
away, because he smelled too strong of 
the stable, then Frau Niissler's annoyance 
broke out in a flood of tears, and, if Brasig 
had. not arrived just then, she would her- 
self have treated the Herr Baron to a 
scolding; but Brasig, like a true knight, 
took the business upon himself. 

He went up-stairs, and said very court- 
eously and decidedly, "Gracious Herr 
Baron, will you have the kindness to step 
the other side of the door for a moment. 

It was possibly too fine for the Herr 
Baron's comprehension, he laughed rather 
confusedly, and said he stood for the 
moment in magnetic ra/>por^ with the mam- 
Belle. 

"Monetic apportl" said Brasig. "We 
need none of your money here, and none 
of your apporters either; Christian was 

Sut here on purpose to prevent such 
oings." 

Brasig himself stood in magnetic rapport, 
without being conscious of it, for when 
Frau Niissler wept he fell into a passion, 
and in great wrath he cried to the baron, 
"Herr, be off with you, out of the 
house I " 

The baron was naturally astonished at 
this speech, and inquired rather haughtily 
whether Brasig was aware that he was 
growing rude. 

♦* Do you call that rudeness ? " cried 
Brasig, taking the baron by the arm. 
" Then I will show you sometmng else ! " 

But the disturbance awoke Sie mam- 
selle out of her sleep ; she sprang from 
the sofa and grasped the baron by the 
other arm : she wouldn't stay here, nobody 
here understood her, he alone understood 
her, she would go with him. 

"The best thing you can do," said 
Brasig. " Don't let us detain you 1 Two 
birds with one stone 1 " and he assisted 
her down stairs. 

The carriage of the Herr Baron was 
all ready, ana drove up to the door; the 
Herr Baron himself was in great per- 
plexity, but the mamselle held fast. 

UVIKO AOB. VOL. XX. 896 



" Yes, there's no help for it," said young 
Jochen, as he watched their departure. 

<<Youne Jochen,'^ said Brasig, as the 
equipage left the yard, " she is like leather, 
she IS toush. And you, madam," said he 
to Frau Nussler, " let the man ffo, now he 
can see as much as he likes of his monetic 
treasure." 

Habermann had been absent a good 
deal of late, on business for his master, 
and, when he came home for a day or two, 
he had so much to attend to on the estate 
that he could not trouble himself about 
other people's affairs. He had been at his 
sister's however, and had comforted her 
about the mamseUe, that it was merely sick- 
ness and would pass over ; but as he came 
home this time, the report was all over 
the neighborhood that young Jochen's 
sleeping mamselle had gone on with the 
Baron von Mallerjahn, but that she had 
previously infected Biiisig with prophesy- 
ing, and Christian with Seeping. BriEisig 
prophesied wherever he went, and Chris- 
tian fell asleep even on his feet. 

Habermann went to Pastor Behrens, 
and inquired what he knew of the story, 
and asked him to go with him to his sis- 
ter's. 

" Willingly, dear Habermann," said the 
Pastor ; " but I have not troubled myself 
much about this matter, for good reasons. 
I know very well that in our good father- 
land many of my brethren in Christ have 
occupied themselves in healing the pos- 
sessed, and casting out devils ; but I think 
such cases belong rather to the depart- 
ment of the physician, or " — with a rather 
peculiar laugh — "to that of the police." 

When they came to Rexow, the cheerful, 
active Frau Nussler, who could usually 
shake off easily the worst misfortune, or 
the most annoying vexation, seemed quite 
another person. 

" Herr Pastor," said she, " Brother 
Earl, that crazy woman has gone, and I 
had trouble enough about her, and so have 
they all gone, that I have had ; but that is 
no matter, I shall get over that. What 
troubles me is my poor little ^rls, who 
know nothing and learn nothmg. And 
when I think how the poor littte dears 
will seem among their elders and equals 
like a couple of fools, knowing nothing 
that is ta^ed about, and not even know- 
ing how to write a letter — no, Herr 
Pastor, you, who have learned bo much, 
vou cannot know how one feels, but I 
know, and, Karl, you can understand it 
too. No, Herr Pastor, even though my 
heart should break, and I should go about 
alone with Jochen in this great house, like 



Digitized by 



Googk 



146 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



one in a dream, I will dve np mj little i dren, put your work aside ; take it all 
girls to go away to school, rather than into the bedroom, Louise ; Mining, pick 
have them remain stupid all their lives, up the threads and scraps ; Lining, you 
You see, when Louise comes here, she is put the chairs in order ! Here comes our 
intelligent ; one can tidk with her, and she new landlord with his wife and daughters, 



can read the newspaper to Jochen. Min 
can read too, but if she comes to a strange 
word, she begins to stammer. For in- 
stance the other day Louise read <Bur- 
doh,' and the place is called so, — and 
Min read * Bo-ur-de-aux.' What is the 
good of * Bo-ur-de-aux,* when the city is 
called *Burdoh?'" 

The Pastor had risen during this speech, 
and walked thoughtfully about the room ; 
at last he came to a stand before Frau 
Niissler, looked at her observantly and 
said, *' My dear neighbor, I will make you 
a proposition. Louise is a little more 
advanced, to be sure, but that makes no 
difference; you shall not be separated 
from your Uttle ones, — let me instruct 
them." 

Frau Niissler had never thought of such 
an offer, and it seemed to her like draw- 
ing the great prize in the lottery, or as if 
she had stepped out of shadow into sun- 
shine. She stared at the Pastor with her 
wide-open, blue eyes; "Herr Pastor 1" 
she cned, springing up from her chair, 
"Jochen, Jochen, did you hear? The 
Herr Pastor offers to teach the children 
himself." 

Jochen had heard, and was also on his 
feet, trying to say something; he said 
nothing, however, only fumbled and grap- 
pled for the Herr Pastor's hand, until he 
erasped it, then pressed it warmly, and 
drew him to the sofa, behind the supper 
table, which was spread ; and when Frau 
Niissler and Habermann had fully ex- 
pressed their pleasure, he also had become 
capable of expression, and said, " Mother, 
pour out a cup for the Herr Pastor." 

So Minins and Lining were now daily 
guests at the Gurlitz parsonage. They 
were as clearly a pair of twins as ever; 
only that Lining as the eldest was perhaps 
half an inch taller than Mining, and Mining 
was a good half inch larger round the 
waist, and — if one looked very closely — 
Mining's nose was a trifle shorter than 
Idning's. 

And so on the day when Pomuchelskopp 
set out to make his first call at the par- 
sonage, the twins were in the Frau Pas- 
torin's sewing-school, for the Frau Pastorin 
also meant to do her duty by the children, 
when the Pastor was occupied with the 
business of his calling. 

"God bless me!" exclaimed the Frau 
Pastorin, running into the room, "chil- 



across the church-yard, right up to the 
house, — and, bless his heart! my Pastor 
has gone to Wamitz to a christening!" 
And she grasped unconsciously her duster, 
but had to lay it aside directlv, for there 
was a knocW at the door, and upon her 
" Come in 1 " Pomuchelskopp with nis wife 
and his two daughters, Malchen and 
Salchen, entered the room. 

" They did themselves the honor," said 
Pomuchelskopp, endeavoring to make a 
graceful bow, which on account of his 
peculiar build was rather a failure, 
" to wait upon the Herr Pastor, and the 
Frau Pastorin — acquaintance — neighbor- 
hood " 

Frau Pomuchelskopp stood by, as stiff 
and stately as if she had that momins 
been plated with iron, and Malchen and 
Salchen, in their gay silk dresses, stared 
at the tliree little maidens in their clean 
cotton garments, like a goldfinch at a 
hedffe-sparrow. 

The Frau Pastorin was the most cordial 
person in the world, to her finend^ ; but 
when she met strangers, and her Pastor 
was not present to speak for himself, she 
took his dignity also upon her shoulders. 
She drew herself up to her full height, 
looking as round and full as a goose on 
the spit, and with every word that she 
spoke the cap ribbons imder her little 
double chin wagged back and forth with a 
dignified air, as if they would say, " No- 
bc^yshall take precedence of me I " 

"The honor is quite on our side," said 
she. " Unfortunateljr my Pastor is not at 
home. Won't you sit aownV and with 
that she seated the two old Pomuchels- 
kopps on the sofa, under the picture-gal- 
lenr. 

Meanwhile, as the older people were dis- 
cussing indifferent topics with an appear- 
ance 01 interest, as the custom is, and now 
one and now another advancing opinions 
to which the rest could not assent, Louise 
went, in a finendly way, as was proper, to 
the two young ladies, and shook hanos with 
them, and the little twins followed her ex- 
ample, as was also proper. 

Now Malchen and Salchen were just 
eighteen and nineteen years old. "IHiey 
were not handsome; Salchen had a gray, 
pimpled complexion, and Malchen, though 
she was not to blame for it, bore too struL- 
ing a resemblance to her father. But they 
were educated — save the mark! and had 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



147 



recently attended the Whitsuntide fair 
and Trinity ball, at Rostock, so there was 
really a great difference between them and 
the little girls, and since they were not very 
kindly disposed, they looked rather coldly 
on the little maidens. 

These, however, either did not notice it, 
or took it as a matter of course that their 
advances should be received with coolness, 
and Louise said with great admiration to 
Malchen, *' Ah, what a beautiful dress you 
have on I " 

Even an educated young lady might be 
pleased at that, and Malchen became a lit- 
tle more friendly, as she said, ** It is only 
an old one; my new one cost, with the 
trimming and dressHuaking, all of ten dol- 
lars more." 

** Papa gave them to us for the Trinity 
ball. Ah, how we danced there ! " added 
Salchen. 

Now Louise had heard in sermons about 
Sundays before and after Trinity, but of a 
Trinity ball she knew nothing ; in fact she 
had no definite conception of a ball itself^ 
for though the Frau Pastorin in her youth 
had taken pleasure like other people, and 
had occasionally set foot in a ball-room, 
yet, out of consideration for her present 
dignified position, she alwavs answered 
Louise's questions what a ball was like, — 
•'Mere frivolity 1" 

As for Lining and Mining they would 
have known nothing of baUs, for though 
their mother danced in her younger days, 
it was merely at harvest feasts, and young 
Jochen had indeed once gone to a ball, but 
upon reaching the door of the saloon he 
was so firightened that he beat a retreat, — 
but Uncle Brasig's descriptions had given 
the children a confused idea of many white 
dresses with ^reen and red ribbons, of vio- 
lins and clanonettes, of waltzes and qua- 
drilles, and many, many classes of punch. 
And as Uncle Brasig had described it all, 
he had also given an illustration, with his 
short legs, of the sliding step, and the hop 
step, so that they laughed prodigiously; 
but what a " ball," such a ball as the last 
governess had taken awav from Mining, 
had to do with it all, they had never com- 
prehended. So Mining asked quite inno- 
cently, " But, if you dance, how do you play 
with a ball?" 

Mining was a thoughtless little girl, and 
she shoidd not have asked such a <|uestioa ; 
but, considering her youth and inexperi- 
ence, the Misses Pomuchelskopp need not 
have laughed quite so loud as they did. 

'* Oh dear I " cried Salchen, " that is too 
stupid 1" 

**Yes, good gracious! so very countri- 



fied I " said Malchen, and drew herself up 
in a stately attitude, as if she had lived 
under the shadow of St. Peter's tower in 
Rostock from her babyhood, and the first 
burgomeister of the city had been her next 
door neighbor. 

Poor Bttle Mining turned as red as a 
rose, for she felt that she must have made 
a great blunder, and Louise grew red also, 
but it was firom anger. "Why do you 
laugh?" she cried hastily, "why do you 
laugh because we know nothing about 
balls?" 

** See, see I How excited I " laughed 
Malchen. " My dear child " 

She went no further in her wise speech, 
being interrupted by hasty words from the 
group on the sofa. 

" Frau Pastorin, I say it is wrong ; I am 
the owner of Gurlitz, and if the Pastor's 
field was to be rented " 

" It was my Pastor's doing, and the Earn- 
merrath is an old friend, and one of our 
parishioners, and the fieldjoins his land as 
well as it does yours, and Lispector Haber- 
mann " 

"Is an old cheat," interrupted Pomu- 
chelskopp. 

"He has abeady done us an injury," 
added his wife. 

" What ? " cried the little Frau Pastorin, 
"what?" 

But her dear old heart thought in a min- 
ute of little Louise, and she overcame her 
anger, and began to wink and blink. It 
was too late; the child had heard her 
father's name, had heard the slander, and 
stood now before the arrogant man, and 
the cold, hard woman. 

"What is my father? What has my 
father done ? " 

Her eyes shot fiery glances at the two 
who had spoken evil of her father, and the 
voung frame which up to this time had 
known constant peace and joy, quivered 
with passion. 

People tell us that sometimes the fair, 
still, green earth trembled, and fire and 
flame burst forth, and snowers of gray 
ashes bury the dwellings of men, and the 
temples of God. It seemed to her that a 
beautiful temple, in which she had often 
worshipped, had been buried under gray 
ashes, and her grief broke forth in stream- 
ing tears, as her good foster-mother put 
her arms around her, and led her from the 
room. 

Muchel looked at his Kliicking, and 
Kliicking looked at her Muchel ; they had 
got themselves into trouble. It was quite 
another thing from having one of his 
laborer's wives come to him, in tears, and 



Digitized by 



Google 



148 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



a pitiful tale of sorrow and distress — he 
knew what to do in such cases ; but here 
he had no occasion for reproaches or ad- 
vice, and, as he glanced about him in his 
confusion, and saw upon the wall the 
hands of Christ stretched out in blessing, 
it seemed to him that the flashing eyes of 
Louise had turned ^pealingly toward 
them, and he remembered how Christ had 
said, ^* Suffer little children to come unto 
me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." 
He did not feel exactly comfortable. 

His brave Eliicking also, was quite dis- 
turbed. She had heard her own children 
screaming many a time under her vigorous 
discipline, but this was a different matter ; 
Malcnen and Salchen had often shot fire 
from their eyes, and stamped their feet, 
but this was a different matter. She re-, 
covered herself soon, however, and said, — 

*' Eopp, don't make such a stupid face 1 
What did she say about her father? Is 
Habermann her father ? *' 

"Yes," answered Mining and Lining, 
through their tears, " that is Louise Haber- 
mann." And they followed their little friend 
into the next room, to cry with her ; for 
though they did not know how deeply her 
heart was wounded, they reckoned them- 
selves one with her, in joy and sorrow. 

" I did not know that," said Pomuchels- 
kopp ; the veiy words he had used years 
before, when Uabermann's wife lay in her 
coffin. 

" A foolish girl I " said his Hauhning. 
" Malchen and Salchen, come, we will go ; 
the Pastor's wife won't come back again." 

And so thev went off, like the year 1822, 
olr which Hauhning represents the 1, on ac- 
count of her leanness, and because she 
would always be number 1, Pomuchelskopp 
the 8, on account of his size and rotundity, 
and the two daughters the two figure 2's, 
— for such a 2 abvays looks to me like a 
goose swimming on the water. 

As they stepped out of the door, the 
Pastor was just returning from his duties 
at Wamitz, and had brought Uncle Briisig 
home with him. He knew by their ap- 
pearance that they had been making a cer- 
emonious visit, and spruns hastily from 
the carriage, that he might be in time for a 
part of it. 

« Ah, good day I How do you do ? But," 
he added in surprise, "where is my 
wife?" 

" She went off and left us," said Frau 
Pomuchelskopp, stiffly. 

" Eh, there must be some mistake I Do 
come in again, I shall be back directly," 
and he ran into the house. 

Meanwhile Biasig had gone up to his 



old comrade Pomuchelskopp : " Grood day, 
Samuel, how areyou ? " 

" Thank you, Herr Inspector, very well,** 
was the reply. 

Brasig elevated his eyebrows, looked him 
square in the face, and whistled square in 
his face. If Frau Pomuchelskopp wished 
to make him a courtesy, she might do so, 
but only to his back, for he turned about 
and went into the house. 

" Come, Kopp," said she sharply, and the 
procession moved off. 

As the pastor entered the house, he 
found nobody there ; he went through into 
the garden, and called, and it was not 
long before he saw the little twins sitting 
under a raspberry hedge, with red eyes, and 
they pointed to the birsh-tree arbor, with 
anxious looks, as if to say he must go there 
if he would find out what the trouble was. 
He went to the arbor, and there sat his 
Regina, with the child in her lap, trying to 
comfort her. When she saw her Pastor, 
she put the child gently down on the bench, 
drew him out of the arbor, and told him 
the matter. 

Pastor Behrens listened in silence ; but 
as his wife repeated the wicked word that 
the Herr Landlord had used, there flashed 
over his intelligent, quiet face a look of 
bitter anser, and then his clear eyes shone 
with the deepest compassion. He said to 
his wife that she might go in, and he would 
speak to the child. So it had come at last I 
his lovely flower had been pierced bv a 
poisonous worm; the pitiless world had 
grasped this soft, pure heart with its hard, 
coarse hand, and the finger-marks could 
never be effaced ; now it had entered upon 
the great, never-ending struggle, whicn is 
fought out here on earth until hearts cease 
to beat. It must come, yes, it must come, 
he knew that well enough; but he knew 
also that the greatest act of one who would 
train a human soul lies in keeping away, as 
long as possible, the hard hand from the 
tender heart, until that also had become 
harder, and then, if the evil grip should be 
even worse, the black fingers will not 
leave such deep marks upon the heart, 
until then innocent of the never-ending 
struggle. He went into the arbor. Thou 
art still happy, Louise ; well is it for one 
who in such an hour is blessed with a 
fj&ithful friend I 

Frau Pastorin, meanwhile, went into the 
parlor, and found Brasig. Brasig, instead 
of sitting down on the comfortable sofa, 
under the picture-gallery, or at least in a 
reasonable chair, had seated himself on a 
table, and was working like a linen-weaver, 
in his excitement over Pomuchelskopp's 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



149 



oeremonious behavior, "There you see 
me, there you have me ! " he cried angrily. 
«*The Jesuit I" As the Frau Pastorin 
came in, he sprang firom his table, and 
cried, — 

" Frau Pastorin, what should you say of 
anybody you had known forty years, and 
you meet him, and you speak to him, and 
he calls you "Sie?"» 

"Ah, Brasig '* 

** That is what Pomuchelskopp has done 
to me." 

"Let the man alone! He has done 
worse mischief h^e;" and she related 
what had happened. 

Briisig was angry, exceedingly angry, 
over the injury wmch he had received, but 
when he heard this he was an^y beyond 
measure; he stormed up and down the 
room, and made use of language for which 
the Frau Pastorin would have reproved 
him severely, had she not been very angry 
herself; at last he thrust himself into the 
sofa comer, and sat, without saying a 
word, looking straight before him. 

The Pastor entered, his Begina looked 
at him inquiringly. 

•* She is watermg the flowers," he said, 
as if to compose her, and he walked in his 
quiet way, up and down the room, finally 
turning toward Brasig. " What are you 
thinking of, dear friend? " 

"Hellofire! I am thinking about hell- 
fire, Herr Pastor I " 

" Why of that ? " asked the Pastor. 

But instead of replying, Brasig sprang 
to his feet, and said : 

** Tell me, Herr Pastor, is it true that 
there are mountains tiiat vomit fire ? " 

" Certainly," said the Pastor. 

" And are they good or bad for man- 
kind?" 

" The people who live in the neighbour- 
hood consider the eruptions a good thing, 
because then the earthquakes are not so 
violent" 

" So ? so ? " said Br'^g, apparently not 
quite satisfied with the answer. " But it 
is true, isn't it," he went on, " that such 
mountains send forth fiame and smoke, 
like a chimney ? " 

"Something so>" said the Pastor, who 
had not the shghtest idea what Brasig was 
driving at. 

" Well," said Brasig, stamping with his 
foot, " then I wish that the devil would 
take Samuel Pomuchelskopp by the nape 
of his neck, and hold him over one of those 
fire-spouting holes till he got his deserts." 

• Do (thoo) is the eommoii fbrm of addieis be- 
tween ftienda; Sie (third person pltinU) being used 
with strangers, and on formal occasions. 



" Fie, Brasig ! " cried the little Pastorin, 
" you are a heathen. How can you utter 
such an unchristian wish in a minister's 
house I " 

" Frau Pastorin," said Br^i^, going back 
into the sofa-corner, " it would be a great 
benefit to mankind." 

"Dear Briisig," said the Pastor, "we 
must remember that these people used the 
disgraceful expression witnout any inten- 
tion of hurting us." 

"It is all one to me," cried Bnisi^, " with 
or without intention. He provoked me 
with intention, but what he aid here with- 
out intention was a thousand times worse. 
You see, Herr Pastor, one must get angry 
sometimes, and we farmers get angry reg- 
ularly two or three times a day, — it be- 
longs to the business; but moderately, 
what I call a sort of farm-boy anger. For 
example, yesterday I was having the fal- 
low-ground marled, and I had ordered the 
boys to form a line with their carts. Then 
I stood in the marl-pit, and all was going 
nicely. Then, you see, there came that lul? 
ber. Christian Kohlhaas, — a real horned- 
beast of a creature, — there he was with 
his full cart coining back to the pit. " You 
confounded rascal I " said I, " what under 
heaven I are you going to bring the marl 
back again 1 Do you believe, mat block- 
head looked me right in the fiice, and said 
he wasn't quite ready to empty the cart, 
and would go into the line. Well, I was 
angry, you may be sure; but there are 
different sorts of anger. This was a 
proper fitrm-boy anger, and that kind 
agrees with me, especially after dinner; 
but here — I can't scold Pomuchelskopp as 
I do the farm-boys. It all stays here, I 
can't get rid of it. And you will see, Frau 
Pastorin, to-morrow I shall have that 
cursed gout again." 

" Briisig," said the Frau Pastorin, " will 
you do me a favour ? Don't tell Haber- 
mann anything of this." 

"Eh, why should I, Frau Pastorin? But 
I will go to little Louise, and comfort her, 
and teU her that Samuel Pomuchelskopp 
is the meanest, most infamous rascal on the 
face of the earth." 

"No, no," said the Pastor, hastily, "let 
that go. The child will get over it, and I 
hope all will be well again." 

"No? Then good-bye," said Brasig, 
reaching for his cap. 

" Surely, Brasig, you will stay to dinner 
with us?" 

"Thank you kindly, Frau Pastorin. 
There is reason in all things. One must 
be angry sometimes, to be sure ; but bet- 
ter after dinner than before. I had better 



Digitized by 



Googk 



150 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



go and work in the marl-pit ; bat Chris- 
tian would do well not to come back to- 
day with his full cart to the marl-pit. So 
good-bye, once more." 
And with that he went oS. 

CHAPTER VI. 

Habermann heard nothing of this oc- 
currence. His child said nothing to him 
about it, only treated him with increased 
tenderness and reverence, if that were 
possible, as if with her greater love to 
make up to him the wrons which had 
been done him. Frau NiissTer, who had 
heard the whole storf from her little 
girls, could not find it m her heart to say 
a word to her brother which could grieve 
him, or make him suspicious of others. 
The Pastor and his wife had the same rea- 
son for silence, and also the wish that the 
whole matter should be forgotten by 
Louise. 

Jochen Niissler said nothing of conse- 
quence, and Brasig also held his peace, 
tnat is toward Habermann. It happened, 
however, through his feeling of injury at 
this self-restraint, and the attack of gout, 
— which came as he said it would the 
next dav, — that he excited the whole 
neighborhood against Pomuchelskopp ; 
and as the latter made no special efforts 
towards friendship and sociability, it was 
not long before his intercourse with his 
neighbors was like my wife's kitchen floor 
at Pentecost, so naked and bare was he 
left in this respect. 

Pomuchelskopp looked upon social in- 
tercourse as a gfuxlen merely, in which he 
could plant his pride-beans ; whether the 

farden gave him shade, or produced 
owers, was of little importance to him 
provided that he had room for himself 
and what belonged to him to spread and 
grow. He had come into MechUnburs, in 
the first place, because he could l}uy 
Gurlitz at a good bargain ; but, secondly 
because he had a vague idea of his future 
prospects as a landlord. 

** Hauhning," siud he to his wife, " here in 
Pomerania, everv bodv rules us, and the 
landrath says, "It shall be so and so,'' but 
in Mechlinburg we shall be law-givers 
ourselves, I among others. And I have 
heard it is customary there for rich 
burghers, who live like the nobility, to be- 
come ennobled in time. Think, Xiiking, 
how it would seem to be called * my gra- 
cious lady von Pomuchelskopp 1 ' but one 
must not throw himself away I " 

And he took pains not to throw him- 
self away, giving up, for that purpose, one 
of his chief pleasures, the boasting and 



bragging of his money, in order not to 
associate too familiarly with the farmers 
and inspectors of the neighborhood. For 
that purpose, he had greeted old Brieisig 
with " Sie," and had honored only Brasig's 
Herr Count with a formal visit. He went 
in his blue dress-coat, with bright buttons, 
and the new coach with four brown horses, 
and was as welcome there as a ho^ in a 
Jew's house. When he came home, be sat 
out of humor in the sofa-comer, and struck 
at the flies; and as his wife who always 
became affectionate when he was cross, 
said, " Poking, what is the matter? " he 
grumbled, " What should be the matter? 
Nothing is the matter, only these con- 
founded nobility, who are friendly to look 
at, and when you come nearer it is good 
for nothing. Oh, yes, he asked me to sit 
down, and then he inquired very politely 
how he could serve me. I don't want any- 
thing of him, I am better off than he ; but 
I could think of nothing to say, at the mo- 
ment, and then there was such a silenoe 
that I must needs go." 

But for all that, Pomuchelskopp would 
not throw himself away, — by no means I 
He trailed after the nobility like the tail 
after a sheep, and although he would 
never advance a penny of wages to his 
own people, and the poor tradesmen in 
the city had to wait till the year's end 
for their hard-earned pay, he had money 
for any spendthrift young gentleman. 
And, while every poor devu of a fellow 
who went through his fields was fined 
without pity, for trespassing, Brasig's 
gracious I^rr Count nad permission, 
even in harvest time, to go over .them 
with the whole hunt ; and while he cheated 
the Pastor shamefully in his Easter-lamb, 
the Herr Count's hunter could shoot the 
roe-buck before his very door, and he 
made no complaint. No 1 Samuel Pomu- 
chelskopp did not throw himself away I 

Habermann kept out of his way. He 
was not a man for strife and contention, 
and was too well satisfied with his situa- 
tion, to be looking here and there after 
other things. He was like a man, who, 
after being out in a storm, sits warm and 
dry in the chimney-comer; and his only 
trouble was his anxiety about his good 
master. He had some time before re- 
ceived a letter from him, in a strange 
hand, and with a black seal, which said 
that he had had a stroke of paraly&is, and 
had not yet recovered the us6 of his right 
hand; but the greatest affliction which 
had befallen him was the loss of his wife, 
who had died suddenly, in full health, 
^d it said also that his nephew Frans 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SBED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



151 



would arrive at Pumpelhagen, at Michael- 
mas, in order to learn farming. ^ It is his 
own wish to handle the spade and learn 
everythinff for himself. I also think it 
best/* G^ese words were written in the 
Karamerrath's own hand. A couple of 
weeks later he received another letter, in 
which the Kammerrath informed him that 
he had resigned his post in Schwerin and 
intended, aner the next Easter, to reside 
at Pumpelhagen, with his three unmar- 
ried daughters; through the winter, he 
must remain in Schwerin, on account 
of his health. Habermann should how- 
ever retain complete management of i 
evervthing. j 

This would be a change, which would 
have some effect upon his situation ; and, 
though he had no occasion to dread the 
eye of the master, and would gladly 
exert himself to do anything for his 
comfort, yet he could not help saying to 
himself that the quiet peace and sim- 
plicity of his life were over, and how 
long would it be before greater changes 
must come V 

Michaelmas came, and with it came Franz 
von Rambow. He was not what is called 
a handsome young man; but he was 
healthy and strong, and upon nearer view 
one was struck by the earnestness of his 
manner, and the good-nature in his eyes. 
A shadow of sadness sometimes fell upon 
his face, which may have been owing to 
the fact that he lost his parents in early, 
youth, and had since stood as an orphan, 
alone in the world. As one might infer 
from his appearance, he was no fool; he 
had Rood natural talents, which had been 
developed at the school in which he had 
fitted for the university, and he had also 
learned a more important lesson, how to 
labor. He was a young tree, raised in a 
nursery in a hard soil, And the wood had 
grown slowly, but firmly ; he had shot out 
no rank shoots into the air, his branches 
were low, but wide-spread, and when he 
should be transplanted he would need no 
prop. ** Let him be," the gardener would 
say, " he is tough and strong, he can stand 
•lone." 

At present, he was twentv years old, 
and the tlwee years' child whom Haber- 
mann recollected had become a steady 
young man, with future prospects such as 
few younff men in the country were pos- 
sessed of He owned two fine estates, 
which had become freed from debt by pru- 
dent management during his minority. It 
was before his recollection, to be sure, 
that Habermann had served as inspector 
with his father ; but he had been told how 



friendly the inspector had always been 
toward him, and when a good, simple- 
hearted man knows that another has car- 
ried him in his arms, as a child, confidence 
easily glides into his heart, and he seems 
to see the little pillow in the cradle, and 
the tired head lies softly down, and the 
dreams of childhood return once more. 

Habermann returned this confidence, 
heartily and gladly. He cautiously and 
quietly led the younar man along, in the 
new and unaccustomed path ; he instructed 
him in matters of the farm-yard and of the 
field ; he told him the reasons why such a 
thing should be done, and why it should 
be done just so, and not in a different 
manner. At the same time, he endeavored 
to spare him; but as he noticed that his 
scholar had no wish to be spared, and de- 
sired faithfully to fill his post, he let him 
have his way, saving to himself, like the 
gardener, ^Let him alone, he needs no 
prop." 

But to these contented companions an- 
other was to be added, who would bring 
life into the house, and that was Fritz Trid- 
delsitz. 

The little Frau Pastorin had a brother- 
in-law, the apothecary Friddelsitz, at Rahn- 
stadt, and wnen he heard that Habermann 
had taken a pupil to be instructed in farm- 
ing, he took it mto his head that his Fritz, 
who was a foppish stripling of seventeen, 
should learn how to manage an estate un- 
der Habermann's tuition. '* Merely the 
higher branches," said Fritz ; << I know all 
about common things already, for I have 
been twice in the dogdays at Uie miller's in 
Bolz, and helped about the harvesting." 

The little Frau Pastorin was not quite 

E leased with the proposal, for she knew 
er greyhound of a nephew, and did not 
wish that Habermann snould be troubled 
with him; but her brother-in-law perse- 
vered, and the matter was brought for- 
ward. Habermann would have gone 
through fire and water for the Pastor and 
his wife ; but he could not decide such a 
question on his own responsibility. He 
wrote to his master about it : young Trid- 
delsitz wanted to come in as a tMrd, he 
had many crotchets in his head, but was 
good-hearted; his chief recommendation 
was that he was the Frau Pastorin's 
nephew, to whom Habermann was under 
great obligation, as the Herr Kammerrath 
was aware. For the rest, his father would 
lay, for two years, a hundred dollars for 
loard. Would it be agreeable to the Herr 
Kammerrath, that Fritz Triddelsitz should 
come to Pumpelhagen, to learn farming? 
The Herr kammerrath answered by re- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



152 



SEED«TIMK AND HABVEST. 



turn poet ; there was no question of board, 
the hundred dollars were for tuition, and 
with that he had nothing to do, that was 
Habermann's business ; S he thought best, 
let him take the young man, and welcome. 

This was a great joy to Habermann; 
nothing more was said of board or tuition 
money, for he could now discharge a small 
portion of the great debt which he owed 
to the Pastor and his wife. 

So Fritz Triddelsitz came, and in such a 
way 1 He was his dear mother's only son, 
— to be sure she had a couple of daugh- 
ters, — and she fitted him out for his new 
place, so that he could represent an ap- 
prentice, a travellinff a^ent, an inspector, 
or a farmer and lanmord, according to the 
occasion, or as the whim took him to play 
at farming, in this manner or that. He had 
dress-boots and working boots, laced boots 
and top-boots ; he had morning shoes, and 
dancing shoes, and fancy slippers ; he had 
button-gaiters, and riding-gaiters, and 
other gaiters; he had dress-coats, and 
linen frocks, and cloth coats and pilot-coats ; 
overcoats and under-jackets, and rain-coats, 
and a variety of long and short trousers, 
too numerous to mention. 

This outfit for a gentleman farmer ar^ 
rived at Pumpelhagen one fine day, in 
several large boxes, with a fine, soft bed, 
and a great clumsy secretary; and the 
carrier volunteered the news that the 
young gentleman would spon be there, he 
was on the way, and was merely detained 
by a struggle with his father's old chestnut 
horse, who would come no further than the 
Gurlitz parsonage, because that had been 
the limit of his journeys hitherto. How 
the contest terminated he did not see, be- 
cause he came away ; but the young gen- 
tleman was coming. And he came, and-as 
I said before, in what a guise I Like an 
inspector over two large estates belonging 
to a count, and who has the privilege of 
riding to the hounds with his gracious Herr 
Count, in a green hunting-jacket, and 
white leather breeches, top-boots with vel- 
low tops, and spurs, and over the whole a 
water-proof coat, not because it was likely 
to rain, but it was new, and he wanted to 
hear what people would say about it. And 
he came up<m his father's old chestnut, and, 
from the appearance of both, it was evi- 
dent that their present relations were the 
result of a contest. The horse had come 
to a stand in the middle of the ^eat pud- 
dle before the Pastor's house, with a nxed 
determination to go no further, and Fritz 
had exercised him for a good ten minutes 
with whip and spur, to the great dismay 
of the little Frau Pastorin, b^ore he coidd 



persuade him to advance ;' so when he dis- 
mounted at Pumpelhagen, his rain-coat 
looked as if he had been pelted withm ud. 

Hie old chestnut stood before the house, 
and he pricked up his ears, and said to 
himself, ^' Is he a fool, or am I ? I am sev- 
enteen years old, and he is seventeen years 
old. He has had his way this time, next 
time I will have mine. If he treats me so 
with whip and spur and kicks, next time 
I will lie down in the puddle." 

When Fritz Triddelsitz came into the 
room where Habermann, and young Herr 
von Rambow, and Marie Moller, the house- 
keeper, were sitting at dinner, the old 
inspector was struck dumb with astonish- 
ment, for he had never seen him before. 
In his green hunting-jacket, Fritz looked 
like one of those long asparagus stalks 
which spring up in the garden, and he was 
so thin and slender that he looked as if one 
could cut him in two with his riding-wliip. 
He had high cheek bones and a freckled 
face, and something so assured, and yet 
awkward in his whole demeanor, that 
Habermann said to himself " God bless me I 
am I to teach him ? He feels above me 
already." 

His reflections were interrupted by a 
burst of laughter from Franz von Ram- 
bow, in which Marie Moller secretly joined, 
holding her napkin before her mouth. 

Fritz had begun, "Good-day, Herr In- 
spector, how do you do ? " when he was 
interrupted by the laughter ; he saw his 
old schoolmate at Parchen, shaking with 
fun; he looked at him rather doubtfuUv; 
but it was not long before he joined in the 
laugh himself, and then steady old Haber- 
mann could refrain no longerj he laughed 
till his eyes ran over. ** Mwi 1 " said Franz, 
" how you have rigged yourself up 1 " 

" Always noble T" said Fritz, and Marie 
Moller disappeared again behind her nap- 
kin. 

" Come, Triddelsitz," said Habermann, 
" sit down to dinner." 

Fritz accepted the invitation — the fel- 
low was in luck, for he had come at the 
best season for good living, in the roast- 
goose season, and as it happened, a fine, 
brown bird stood before him, and this 
beginning of his study of farming might 
well be agreeable. He was not at all 
sparing of the roast goose, and Habermann 
reflected silently that if he sat on horse- 
back as weU as at table, paid as much at- 
tention to farm-boys as to roast goose, 
knew as much about horses' fodder as of 
his own, and cleared up business as com- 
pletely as he did his plate, something 
might be made of him in time. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



168 



"Wen, Triddelmtz," said Habermann, 
when dinner was over, " now you can go 
to your room, and change your clothes, 
and put this smart riding-suit away where 
the moths will not get at it, for you won't 
need it again this two years. We don't 
side much here, we go on foot, and if there 
is any riding to do, I do it myself, by the 
way." 

Before long, Fritz re-appeared, with a 
pair of greased boots, short breeches, and 
a grass-green nilot-coat. 

" That wiU do," said Habermann ; " now 
come, and I will gire youBome instructions 
to begin with." 

They went oyer the farm, and next 
morning Fritz Triddelsitz stood with seven 
of the farm laborers in the Rahnstadt 
road, and let the water out of the pud- 
dles, — an agreeable business, especially 
in November, with a drizzling rain all day 
long. " The devil I " said Fritz Triddelsitz, 
" farming isn't what I took it for I " 

A couple of weeks after his arrival, 
Brasig came riding into the yard, one 
Sunday noon. Fritz had by this time be- 
come 80 far subdued by Habermann, his 
monotonous work, and the everlasting 
rainy weather, that he began to compre- 
hend his situation as an apprentice, and 
his natural good-heartedness made him 
ready for little services. So he started 
out of doors, to assist BriEisig down from 
his horse, but Brasig screamed, "Don't 
come near me I Don't touch me I Don't 
come within ten feet of met Tell Karl 
Habermann to come out." 

Habermann came: "Bless you, Brieisig, 
why don't you get down ? " 

"Karl — no, dont touch mel just get 
me a soft chair, so that I can get down by 
degrees, and then brine a blanket or a sheep- 
skm or something son to spread under it, 
for I have got this confounaed gout." 

They did as he asked, spreading mats 
under the chair, and Brasiff crawled down 
from the horse, and hobbled into the house. 

"Why didn't you send me word you 
were ill, Brasig?" said Habermann. "I 
would gladly have gone to you." 

" You can do nothing for me, Karl ; but 
I couldn't stay in that confounded hole any 
longer. But what I was going to say is — 
I have given it up." 

" Given what up ? " 

" Getting married. I shall take the pen- 
sion from my ffracious Herr Count." 

" Well, Brasig, I would do that, in your 
place." 

" Eh, Karl, it is all very well to talk ; but 
it b a hard thing for a man of my years to 
give up aU his cherished hopes, aiid go to a 



water-cure; for Dr. Strump is determined 
to send me there. I don't suppose Dr. 
Strump knows anything about it, but he 
has had the accursed gout himself, and 
when he sits by me and talks so wisely 
about it, and talks about Colchicum and 
Polchicum, it is a comfort to think that 
such a learned man has the gout too." 

" So you are going to a water<;ure ? " 

"Yes, Karl; but not before spring. I 
have made my plans ; this winter I shall 
grumble along here, then in the spring I 
will go to the water-cure, and by midsum- 
mer I will take the pension, and go to live 
in the old mill-house at Hannerwiem. I 
thought at first I would go to Kahnstadt, 
but &ere I should have no house rent-free, 
and no village, and they would take me for 
a fat sheep and fleece me and skin me ; it 
would be contemptible, and also too expen- 
sive." 

"You are right, Brasig; stay in the 
counti^, it is better for you ; and stay in 
our neighborhood, for we should miss you 
sadly, if we did not see your honest old 
face, every few days." 

" Oh, you have society enough ; you have 
these young people, and, I was going to 
say, the old broker at Kniep, and Schimmel 
of Radboom would be glad to send you 
their boys also. K I were you I would put 
on an addition to the old farm-house, to 
have plenty of room, and establish a regu- 
lar agricultural school." 

"That does verv well for a joke, Bnisig. 
I have enough to do with these." 

" Yes ? How do they get alone." 

" Well, Bnisig, you know them both, and 
I have (^n thought I should like to ask 
your opinion." 

" I can't tell, Karl, till I have seen how 
they ^o. Young farmers are like colts, one 
can't judge merely by looking at them, one 
must see them put through their paces. 
See, there goes your youne nobleman ; call 
him a little nearer, and let me examine 
him." 

Habermann laughed, but complied with 
Brasig's request, and called the young 
man. 

" Hm," said Brasig, " a firm gait, not too 
rapid, holds himself together well, and has 
his limbs under controL Hell do, KarL 
Now the other one 1 " 

"Herr von Rambow," swd Habermann 
as the young man came up, "where is 
Triddelsitz?" 

" In his room," was the answer. 

"Hm," said Brasig, "resting himself a 
Uttle." 

"I don't know." 

" Tell him to come down," said Haber^ 



Digitized by 



Googk 



154 



SEED-TIME AND HARVEST. 



Ck>ffee 



mann, "and come back yourself, 
will be ready presently." 

"Karl," said Brasig, when they were 
alone, " you will see, the apothecary's son 
has been taking a nap." 

" No harm if he has, Briisig ; he is young, 
and has been at work all the morning, giv- 
ing out com for fodder." 

" But he oughtn't, Earl ; it isn't good for 
young folks to sleep after dinner. See, 
there he comes I Now send him some- 
where, past the window, so that I can see 
how he goes." 

" Triddelsitz," called Habermann from 
the window, "go to the stables, and tell 
Jochen Boldt to be ready to take Herr In- 
spector Brasig home, by and by. He may 
take the the two fore-horses— " 

"Bonl" said Fritz Triddelsitz, and 
skipped yiraciously along the causeway. 

" God preserve us I " cried Brasig, " what 
an action I Just look how awkward he is 1 
See the weakness of his ankles, and the 
thinness of his flanks I It will take you a 
good while to fat him up. He is a grey- 
hound, Karl, a regular greyhound, and, 
mark my words, you will make nothing of 
him." 

" Eh, BrMsig, he is so young, he will out- 
grow these peculiarities." 



^Outgrow them? Sleeps in the after- 
noon? Says *Bong' to you? And now 
look here — for all the world he is coming 
back affain, and hasn't been near the 
stables.'^ 

Fritz was coming back again, to be 
sure; he came to the window and sai^ 
"Herr Inspector, didn't you say Jochen 
Boldt should go?" 

"Yes," said Biusig snappishly, •* Jochen 
Boldt shall go, and shall not forget what 
he is told. You see now, Karl, am I 
right?" 

"Brasig," said Habermann, a little an- 
noyed by Fritz's stupidity, "let him go! 
we are not all alike ; and, though it may 
cost a good deal of trouble, we will bring 
him through." 

Vexation was an infrequent guest with 
Habermann; and, whenever it came, he 
showed it the door. Thought, anxiety, 
sorrow of heart, he admittec^ when they 
overpowered him; but this obtrusive 
beggar, which borrows something from 
each of the others, and lies all tSij at a 
man's ears, with all sorts of complaints 
and torments, he thrust out of doors, 
headforemost. So it was not Ions before 
the conversation became lively and pleas- 
ant again, and continued so until Briisig 
departed. 



There are fsw file days for as now; if fHends 
meet, they dare soaroely ask after any absent 
one, — the best names in France are on the 
bloody scroll. The Commandant Arago fell the 
other day, near Orleans; he was a grandson of 
the astronomer; his first campaign was in the 
Crimea, under MaoMahon. A lieatenant and 
private of the iclaireurs Lafon Mocqoart were 
charged to carry the sad news of the death of 
one of the corps to his family; at the foot of the 
stairs the courage of the latter entirely failed 
him, and the lieutenant mounted alone; the 
door was opened by a little girl, who, seeing the 
uniform, clapped her hands and said, ** Oh! 
bow glad papa will be when he comes book; yon 
are come to dine with us .... " The poor 
lieatenant could hear no more, bat fled down- 
stairs, and left the concierge to break the sad 
news to his locataires. The private who 
waited in anguish below was Berthelet, the 
oomio singer. Athenoum. 



A ooBBnpoimiifT of J>rote$ and Queriet 
draws attention to the remarkable acumen dis- 
played by Mirabeaa in his estimate of the mili- 
tary capacities of his countrymen. A contest 
with united Germany would, in his opinion, 
prove a very hasardoos undertaking, and France 
would enter upon it with certain disadvantages. 
He says : — 

La nation fhmcoise est trte-brave, sans doiite; 
toutes sont susceptibles de rfitre; et la notre a peat- 
fitre plus de cette verve brlUante. de ce point d'hon* 
neur imp^tueux qn'on est tent^ de prendre pour 
ane plus grande valeur: mais on ne sauroit ne di«- 
simuier qu'elle n'est pas aussi railitaire que la nadon 
allemonde. Meilletirs daelliste% sans doutc, inoon- 
testablement moins bons soldats, plus actifb, plot 
imp^toeux. plus capables de Timpossible; malt 
moins susoeptlbles de calme. de soomisdon, d'ordre, 
de disdpline (et o'est la pretqae tout a la guene) ; 
voila ce que nous sommes. 

The passage occurs in the eighth book of Mir- 
abeau's treatise *' De la Monarchic Prossienne 
sous Frederic le Orand.*' 



Digitized by 



Googk 



browning's poems. 



155 



From Saint Paoli. 
BROWNING'S POEMS.* 

Brownino has been partially known 
already to one generation of the British 
public. A second has risen up since the 
appearance of his first poem, before whom 
he modestly takes his stand in his latest 
book, as still a candidate for the favour 
which their fathers refused him. There is 
every si^ that it will be accorded to him. 
Everythme seems to show that the many are 
at length about to concur in the passionate 
admiration of the few, and to make up (as 
they are wont) for unreasonable neglect in 
the past byundiscriminating eulogy in the 
present. This, though the better extreme 
of the two, is neither satisfactory to the 
author so treated, when he is such a man 
as Browning's poems reveal himself to be, 
nor altogether good for those who indulge 
in it ; while its effect on the young, who 
have a taste to form and a model to select 
for imitation, is sure to be bad, leading 
them to mistake a master's defects for 
merits, and to copy them, while possibly 
overlooking his perfections altogether. 
The present seems, therefore, a go^ time 
for an attempt to consider the most notice- 
able matters in Browning^s works — the 
great Qualities they reveal, the deficiencies 
they betray; what things his varied 
powers have achieved already, and what 
we may be justified in yet expecting from 
them. 

Those powers are varied indeed, far be- 
yond a poet's ordinary equipment ; and at 
times, from their very number and size, an 
encumbrance instead of a help to their 
possessor. His proficiency in logic, his 
skill in metaphysics, his keen wit, and his 
delight in verbal subtleties, are frequently 
too much for him, and impel him to dis- 
play them out of season. The bard 
wrestles in him with the philosopher, and 
gets a &11; the humourist trips up the 
poet. 

Much as Browning has written, — doubt- 
less, for one reason, because he has writ- 
ten so mucky — he has not done full justice 
yet to some of his poetical endowments ; 
and it is now to be feared that they will 
never receive it at his hands. Instead of 
cherishing and making them yield their 
utmost for our benefit he has often pre- 
ferred to elaborate other talents, great in 
in their way, but not the poet's peculiar 

• **PAnicdfiM, ChrUtmas Ere and Eastar Df 
Sordello." London : 1868. 

*' TnigHli«*s and other Plajrs." London : 1868. 

*'LTrlc8, Romaaoet, Men and Women." Lon- 
don: 1868. 

'* Dramatis Penonc.'* London : 1864. 

'* The Ring and the Book.'* London : 1868. 



heritage. Take, for an instance, satire, 
which is the application to mean and base 
objects of that genius which ** detects iden- 
tity in dissimilar " as well as the <<di£fei> 
ence in similar things ; " which thus uses a 
heaven-sent torch to light up the recesses of 
a tavern ; which is as useful a gift to an 
orator as to a poet, to a Demosthenes 
as to a Juvenal, to Dryden the polished 
and witty prose-writer as to Ehryden the 
satirist in verse. This power b a favour- 
ite with Browning, who certainly possesses 
it abundant in measure and trenchant in 
quality. He has employed it with singular 
success ; but then to its employment he has 
not unfrequently sacrificed poetry. We 
look all in vain for poetry in his clever pio- 
tures of the half-conscious, refined, ecclesi- 
astical, and the quite conscious, vulvar 
cheat — "Bishop Blougram" and "Mr. 
Sludffe." We read those two monologues 
for the knowledge of human nature dis- 
played in them, for tiie portrait each man 
paints in them unintentionally of himself 
while he is using his skill against his neigh- 
bours or in his own defence ; but we only 
call them oocYTM because they are written in 
a sort of olank verse.* How if Browning 
had made less of this lower gift in order 
to make the very most of its hieher compan- 
ion, his poetic genius, the insight to wnich 
the ideal is revealed and the skill which 
exhibits it by means of realities ? How if 
there had been added to his vigorous im- 
agination, to his great dramatic faculty 
and to his fine ear for music, an artistic 
conscience, and if he had firmly resolved 
to maintain it in its rifl^tful dominion 
over his other powers ? Then we should 
have lost some interesting metaphysical 
discussions which now overbalajice and 
spoil the harmonious proportions of his 
poems; some admirable traits of character 
now revealed to us at the expense of dra- 
matic propriety; some racy expressions 
and exquisitely frinny rhymes, which now 
impart a flavour of grotesqueness to 
poems which should be purely sublime or 
beautiful. In a word, we should have lost 
the Browning whom we know; and we 
who know him can scarcely refrain from 
tears at the thought. But what a poet we 
should have gained I A diver who, having 
gone down deeper than his compeers, 
itched us up nothing but pearls of price ; 
never disappointing us by bringing up 
vile things instead — precious in his eyes 
because he had found them at a depth of 
so many fathoms. 

• Sometimes of this kind : — 
** The eaddj gives way to the dram-bottle.** 
^Mr. Sludge the Medimm. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



156 



browning's poems. 



This kist thought leads as to the great- 
est hindrance to Browning's attainment 
of universal popolarity; that popularity 
which rewards the poet whose genius has 
breadth as well as depth; the love of 
shnple-minded women and children as well 
as of men, of uneducated persons as well 
as of the learned. The hindrance to win- 
ning such acceptance as this lies in Brown- 
ing's deficient sense of beauty in his choice 
of subjects. Doubtless as much skill may 
be shown in painting an uffly as a beauti- 
ful face, a dirty farmyard as a glorious 
lake ; but who, even of observers with a 
special knowledge of painting, looks at the 
two sorts of pictures with equal pleasure ? 
While to the child, or to the imleamed, 
the subject is almost everything, the ex- 
ecution nothing. Even so Browning's 
knowledge of human nature, his very skill 
in tracking its devious windings and de- 
tecting its sins in their closest lurking- 
places, have injured his power of exciting 
universal* interest, by tempting him to 
choose subjects which would best disolay 
this knowledge, without regard to their 
intrinsic beauty. Some of his best-known 
poems make the reader shudder, even 
while he most admires their cleverness, by 
the physical or moral horrors which they 
set before him. And when the child or 
intelligent rustic, who has laudied loud 
over the delicious ** Piper of Hamelin," 
and cried for joy as the good horse Ro- 
land's hoofs smite the Aix pavement, tries 
to read more of the book wnich delighted 
him so much, he finds there little that he 
can understand, except poisonings, and 
stranglings, varied bv public executions 
of diSsrent de^es of cruelty, which cul- 
minate in the burning alive of a man be- 
fore a slow fire. 

This want of feeling for the paramount 
claims of the beautifd may be the reason 
why a writer, who knows every hole and 
comer of the classics, has only drawn one 
poem firom (pre-Christian) Greek sources ; 
why the repose so familiar to him in the 
masterpieces of the ancients is the quality 
in which his own works are most defi- 
cient; why, though delighting in his 
adopted country's art, though well know- 
ing (as his poems bear witness) how the 
sculptor feels as he watches some godlike 
form grow beneath his hand, the painter 
as he looks up to his own Madonna smil- 
ing down upon him from her golden light ; 
the musician as the wave of sound swells 
round him responding to his conception ; 
yet when he comes to deal with his own 
art, it is too often discords of music, the 
snaJLe-enfolded struggler of sculpture, the 



plague-stricken form of painting that 
Browning has chosen for his own portion 
as a poet. 

His love of abnormal t^pea of character, 
of morbid conditions of mind, of excep- 
tional crimes as subjects for his verse, 
wiU hinder Browning's popularity (in the 
widest sense of the term) even more than 
that other barrier about which so much 
has been said — his peculiarity of style. 

Nevertheless this barrier exists also. 
Browning is the Carlyle of verse ; a lover, 
like that great writer, of odd nicknames,* 
and a coiner of new and forcible expres- 
sions ; like him, inclined rather to run risks 
in the attemot to ** snatch a ^prace beyond 
the reach of art" than to incur the re- 
proach of tameness by following her 
beaten track; like him, through native 
originality unconstrained where another 
man would be odiously afiected, applauded 
where that other would be deservedly 
hissed; but also, like him, in the clond 
which sometimes obscures his meaning; 
and, therefore, even as he, neither to be 
imitated with tolerable effect nor to be 
understood without preliminary initiation. 
It was chiefly from unwillingness to under- 
go the trouble of that initiation in an 
unknown author's favour that the last gen- 
eration received Browning's first poems as 
they did. When the new aspirant for 
poetic honours invited dianoe listeners to 
hear him 

*« Talk as brothers talk 
In half-words, call things by half-names,** 

and proposed confidentially to 

** Leave the mere rude 
Explicit details: 'tis but brother's speech 
We need, speech where an aooent's change gives 

each 
The other's soul," t 

can we wonder if men, whose typical poet 
was Byron, who complained of Words- 
worth's difficulties, stood aghast at '' Para- 
celsus " and ** Sordello," and turned from 
them exclaiming, '^Non lectore tuis opus 
est, sed Apolline libris ? " Is it marvellooa 
if they thouriit the "Now die, dear 
Aureole" of Festus, at the close of his 
friend*8 long-winded death-bed harangue, 
the most sensible thinff in "Paracelsus? " 
or if they complained that while Sordello 'a 
first poet,t always profound, is only some- 
times obscure, his second, only sometimes 
profound, chose to be obscure always? 
Or can we be surprised if even the wiser 



• Witness " BlaphookB 
t " SordeUo." 
% Dante. 



'and<<Gigadibt." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



browning's poems. 



157 



section, who had learned from Coleridge 
that there i) a kind of obficurity in an 
anthor which is a compliment to the 
reader, felt the compliment here too much 
for their modesty, and longed for less 
respect and more information ? 

But this sort of t^ is now a thing of 
the p&Bt. Browning has modified his 
style, though he still throws us a hard 
lyric nut, a "Respectability," a "Popu- 
larity," to crack every now and then. The 
Briti^ public grumbled for awhile, and 
then patiently learned Browningesque as 
it before learned Carlylese. So that for 
the present the advantages of a pictur- 
esque way of putting things remain for the 
reader's sens.ble eigoyment; its attendant 
disadvantages have retired from his im- 
.mediate observation. Nevertheless, they 
should not be left out of sight in an attempt 
to estimate their employer's genius; for 
they must hinder his naturalization among 
those men of other lands and other agei 
whom every great poet addresses next to 
those of his own day and country, and 
l^ey mark that mind of which they are 
the natural . outgrowth as (whatever its 
greatness) still below the measure of the 
stature of those who sit serene on the 
Parnassian summit. 

We do not, of course, mean that the 
nnquestionable (though much-exaggerat- 
ed) difficulty of Browning's first poems is 
due to style alone. It is caused fully as 
much by their subject. For in them a 
step is endeavoured to be taken beyond 
epos, beyond drama, for which no firm foot- 
ing can be secured. They are an attempt 
to paint the light in its fountain instead of 
on land and sea, glittering in its beams; 
^e life inside the brain and heart, instead 
of that same life revealed in the human 
form divine. They could not, therefore, 
but prove (artistically speakins) failures, 
though failures worth more than some 
successes ; gallant, if unauthorized and un- 
ayailing, efforts to annex alien dominions 
to the realms of poesy^ and efforts firom 
which many a victory might be confidently 
predicted for the champion when marching 
steadily beneath her banners. 

To resume, however, our considerations 
of Browning's style, it is obviously a hin- 
drance to dramatic success by being too 
marked and peculiar for dialogue. The 
illusion, wnich it is the aim of the drama to 
produce, is the result of a well-understood 
compromise between the real and the 
ideal; and it is an infringement of the 
terms of this compromise to require the 
spectator, who has already conceded that 
tne foreign personages before him may 



talk English yerse, to grant further that 
they may all use the same style of abrupt 
transition and startling metaphor. Imag- 
ine a Platonic dialogue by Carlyle. 
Would the speaker, now on this side, now 
on that, seem any other than the same 
man addressing us from various positions ? 
£ven so it requires all Browning's great 
dramatic talent to neutralize the effect of 
his style upon his plays. 

Those plays are eight in number, be- 
sides two short dramatic sketches, each ad- 
mirable in its way : " A Soul's Tragedy," 
for the sly fun of the legate's address ; " In 
a Balcony," for the tragic force compressed 
into its brief space. Of the longer dramas, 
" Colombe's Birthday " is a true and grace- 
ful picture of a young heart passing in one 
short day from girl to woman, from the 
vanities of the world's outward show to 
the knowledge and choice of deeper and 
better things. The speech of Valence, the 
vouthful Duchess's humble but heroic de- 
fender, glorying in his apparently unre- 
quited love for her, is a very noble one. 

" Pippa Passes," the most unique, is de- 
servedly the best known and best loved of 
Browning's plays. What fancy could be 
more charming than this of the sweet child 
who spends her holiday in playfully im- 
agining herself by turns the four people 
she supposes the happiest in her town 
while she sings those pretty songs which 
now enhance, now alleviate, their real mis- 
ery ; who lies down at night, unconscious 
alike of the good she has effected and the 
evil she has escaped, commending herself 
to Him who, while she knew it not, had 

STfected His praise out of her mouth ? 
ere, too, both the author's lyric and dra^ 
matic talent find expression, and mutually 
support one another. The scene between 
Ottima and Sebald is powerfully tragic; and 
the contrast between the hoarse accents of 
their guilt and the firesh pure voice outside 
is as overpowering to the spectator as to 
themselves. Still, are not the dark shades, 
both here and in a subsequent scene, laid 
on with a somewhat coarse hand? Are 
not painful features obtruded on us in this 
play more than was absolutely needful ? 

Of the plays which are regular tragedies, 
" A Blot m the Scutcheon " is incoinpar- 
bly the best. **King Victor and King 
Charles " follows it after a certain intervaL 
The four personages of this last play are 
well drawn and well contrasted ; the wily 
father with the openrhearted son, the art- 
ful minister with the noble-minded wife. 
We have always admired the catastrophe ; 
when the hoary schemer, baffled by his 
son's plain honesty, has recourse to truth 



Digitized by 



Googk 



158 



browning's poems. 



at last, and, by its aid, attains the priyilege 
. of dying with the ctown, the object of ms 
• life's desires, on his head. But the ** Blot " 

is at once more thoroughly tragic in sub- 
ject, and worked out with more complete- 
ness. It is a play in which not a stroke is 
wasted, in which every speech and every 
circumstance contributes to the final re- 
sult. Though English in its colouring, 
though it depends for its catastrophe on 
the modem code of honour, yet this trag 
edy is Greek in the unexpectedness of t& 
discovery on which it turns, and in the 
sense of an inevitable impending woe 
which pervades it. The contrast between 
the prosperous splendour of the doomed 
house and its hidden disgrace, between 
Mildred's seemingly innocent beauty and 
her real guilt, is most impressive. Nor 
can any two characters be more touching 
in their sadness than those of Mildred and 
her lover ; the girl looking up, loving but 
hopeless, to the hand which sue feels must 
strive in vain to lift her from the abyss 
into which it plunged her first ; the youth's 
frank nature subdued to unaccustomed de- 
ceit, and his brave arm unnerved by his 
consciousness of guilt. In all the domain 
of tragedy there are few more pathetic 
speeches than Lord Mertoun's as he lies 
mortally wounded, to the man whom he 
had hoped to call his brother : — 

<* Ah, Tresham, say I not, ' Toa*ll hear me 

now ? * 
And what procures a man the right to speak 
In his defence before his fellow-man, 
But — I suppose — the thought that pres- 
ently 
He may have leave to speak before his God 
His whole defence T . . . 

. . . Now say you this to her — 
You — not another — say, I saw him die 
As he breathed this — I love her — you don't 

know 
What those three small words mean! Say, 

loving her 
Lowers me down the bloody slope to death 
With memories — I speak to her — not you. 
Who had no pity — will have no remorse. 
Perchance intend her— ^ Die along with 

me. 
Dear Mildred ! 'tis so etaj — and you'll 

'scape 
So much unkindnees ! " 

Ji Blot in the Scutcheon , act UL so. 1. 

The dramatic power exhibited in this 
tragedy and in " rippa " b of a very high 
order. And in all Browning's plays we 
feel that we are watching real men and 
women, not mere impersonated virtues 
and vices; while his best characters are 
strong and individual conceptions, un- 



folded to us naturally by their own words 
and deeds. Where there is a failure, it is 
caused by the dramatist placing too many 
of his personages on his own level in point 
of intellect^ so that their reasonings dis- 
play a suspiciously uniform correctness, 
their wit a too equal brilliancy. For it 
cannot be denied that Browning some* 
times pushes his speakers unceremoniously 
aside to take their place himself. King 
Victor's reflection on the loathsomeness 
of a crafty old age should have been made 
by some bystander. Colombe's courtiers 
reveal their selfishness with uncourtly 
frankness. Poor Youn^ Mertoun spealu 
of his own youth more like an older man 
talking of a boy than a boy talking about 
himself. Ignorant Phene turns a critic's 
eye on the students' self-conceit. And . 
even dear little Pipf»a herself is imther 
high-flown and strained in her first saluta- 
tion to the daylight, and her ** Best people 
are not angels quite " is over-mature and 
unchildlike. 

This disposition to lend the author's 
brain as well as his tongue to his charac- 
ters appears oftener still in Browning's 
monologues; and oftenest of all in that 
series which form his latest work. In the 
"Experience of Karshish," this fine de- 
scription of the risen Lazarus's state — 

** The spiritual life around the earthly life. 
The law of that is known to him as this — 
His heart and brain move there, his feet stay 
here," 

is not within the competence of the sup- 
posed writer. The young David reasoning 
out the hope of the future in ^ Saul,'^ the 
aged St. John arguing against the unbelief 
of later times (and this, too, in a style so 
remote from that of his published sayings 
as to give full nroof of their verbal inspira- 
tion), are anacnromsms of thought which 
at once direct our gaze from the supposed 
to the real speaker. 

The three monologues most entirely free 
from such faults are two which belong to 
the Italy of the renaissance, and one which 
depicts the darker side of monastic life. 
Each of these portrays a difierent kind of 
wickedness at its height. Each is a legiti- 
mate, because a poetic, exercise of the 
tremendous power of satire possessed by 
its writer. And each gives proof of how 
disinterested he is in its employment; 
since he forbears all appeal to the ill-nar 
ture of his readers by airecting its light- 
nings against evil-doers remote nrom them, 
instead (like the older satirists^ of aiming 
them at the sinners at their aoors. The 
^ Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister " is 



Digitized by 



Googk 



browning's poems. 



159 



aHke too well known and too horrible for 
qaotation. It is a picture (ghastly in its 
evident tmth) of superstition wluch has 
Boryived religion; of a heart which has 
abandoned the love of kindred and friends, 
onlj to lose itself in a wilderness of petty 
spite, terminating in an abyss of diabolical 
hatred. The oidinary providential helps 
to goodness have been rejected; the ill- 
provided adventurer has sought to scale 
the high snow-peaks of saintliness, — he 
has missed his footing, — and the black 
chasm which yawns beneath has engulfed 
him. 

Tet more terrible than the outspoken 
Spaniard is the smooth Italian prince in 
"My Last Duchess," with his polished re- 
serve, his agreeable dilettanteism and his 
cold-blooded cruelty. The way in which 
that accomplished art-patron (while dis- 
playing her portrait to his intended new 
lather-in-law's envoys) calmly divulges 
the fact that he could criticise his first 
wife's deportment as well as her pic- 
ture, and Uiat, liking the former worse 
than the latter, he gave commands 
for her death, chills the blood with hor- 
ror. 

Worse still, in one respect, than this 
model husband, is the model bishop whom 
we overhear ordering "his tomb in St. 
Praxed's Church." We shudder as we 
listen to that mitred worldling invoking 
the saints, yet dying, as he liv^ without 
God ; viewing his disgraced past without 
remorse, his terrific future without con- 
cern ; nay, unable to discern that future 
at all, blocked out, as it is, to his con- 
tracted vision by the rose marble and 
lapis lazuli, the sculptured frieze and 
choice Latin inscription for which he 
wrestles with his sons' avarice, the orna- 
ments of that magnificent tomb which is 
to enable him to triumph even in death 
over a hated rivid. It has bedn remarked 
that we must go to Juvenal alike for an 
adequate paraUel to this poem, or to the 
withering sarcasm of the first part of 
" Holy-Cross Day," in which a Jew (forced 
to listen to a sermon from even such a 
bishop) pours forth the indignation which, 
as he says, 

« OTerflowB, when to even the odd. 
Men I helped to their sins, help me to thmr 
God." 

Jbid if the great Roman's severity of 
satire is here equalled or outdone, who, 
after all, need feel surprised? For what 
heathen satirist had ever folly like this to 
scourge ? The old world's decayed civil- 
ization showed him man fiEdthleas only to 



his own moral sense and to the ideal that 
philosophy had set before him. A Chris- 
tian's lapse into paganism involves the dis- 
regard of a greater Guide, and the rcrjec- 
tion of a diviner prize. In the awful pro- 
cession formed by all who have heard the 
gospel, if "those who are being saved" 
ave joys unknown to the best heathen, 
in like manner must " those who are per- 
ishing " far surpass the worst of the elder 
day in their folly, their guilt, and their 
misery. 

No wonder, then, that these monologues 
(masterpieces of their kind) appal us 
while we admire. Gentle readers (if sen- 
sation novels have left any) will wonder 
how their author bore the preliminary 
study : just as the beholder of certain pic- 
turea horrors marvels how the artist 
could ever endure to paint them. We 
have asked ourselves the same question 
before now, especially when reading (in the 
" Dramatis Personse ") the ghastlv tale of 
the dying girl and her hoard of ^old. And 
we came to the conclusion that, just as crit- 
ics mark with surprise in lofby and pure- 
minded Dante a strange attraction to the 
physically nauseous and repulsive, like that 
which dragged the old Greek (protesting 
the while aloud) to satiate his eyes on the . 
loathsome corpse by the wayside; even 
such a power ao similar spectacles in the 
moral world exercise over Browning. But 
we must not lead any one to suppose that 
his satire gleams phosphorescent over such 
dark spots alone. Let us thankfully re- 
member how it plays over the Italian's love 
for his town with its drum and fife, and all 
its little stirs ; how it casts a new though 
not a favourable light on the hero of Schil- 
ler's " Glove ; " how it illuminates the silli- 
ness of the medisevalist in " The Flight of 
the Duchess;" and how it once conde- 
scends to enact the part of the good-na- 
tured lightning of the electric machine, and 
sport, aU fun and no danger, for the chil- 
dren's amusement in " The Piper of Hame- 
lin." 

Nor should we omit to notice the deep- 
rooted convictions, alike moral and reli- 
gious, from which Brownins^s severer satire 
springs ; or fail to acknowledge that if he 
sometimes disallows the claims of the beau- 
tiftd, he is never unmindful of those of the 
truth. He approaches the subject of reli- 
gion oftener than is the wont of modem 
poets, and he handles it more satisfactorily. 
Shakspeare, Spenser, and Milton knew in 
Whom they believed, defective as is the 
last-named's creed. But Pope only pro- 
claims the worship of an unknown God. 
And the bulk of modem poetry gives the 



Digitized by 



Googk 



160 



browning's pobms. 



reader too much this sort of impression of 
its writer's mind : " We are not sure that 
the Christian faith is true, nay, we shrewdly 
suspect it to be false ; but those who held it 
in the olden time, and the unlettered who 
believe it now, form charming themes for 
verse. See that knight taking his sword 
from the altar, that pale votaress kneeling 
before the shrine ; listen to those peasants' 
evening hymn, or to the preacher before 
whose accents the listening crowd sways 
like com before the wind ; we need not in- 
quire whether their faith be true or false, 
but let us diligently improve, for artistic 
purposes, the beauty of its manifestations." 

Not so, says the poet before us. This 
faith is true, and in its truth lies its beauty. 
Strong in this conviction, he does not fear 
to contemplate those who hold it in weak- 
ness, in ugliness, even in vulgarity ; because 
to his eye there eleams through the earth- 
en pitcher the Fire from heaven, behind 
the rough shell the Pearl of Price, beneath 
the field's thistles and nettles the hidden 
Treasure. 

To him the most interesting of all his- 
toric periods is that when on wrecked hu- 
manity, after the long and stormy night, 
the Sun of Righteousness first arose. Bv 
force of contrast^ the other epoch which 
seems most to have engaged his attention 
is that of the revival of ureek learning and 
art in Europe, with all the loss and gain 
which have resulted from it to the Chris- 
tian Church. Most graphic is his picture 
of the faith and love of primitive tunes in 
the unargumentative portion of *' A Death 
in the Desert." Yet more remarkable is 
the '* Epistle of Earshish," the most fasci- 
nating to thouffhtful minds of all Brown- 
ing's poems. An Arab physician of the 
first century describes m a letter to a 
learned friend, his interview with the risen 
Lazarus. He is inclined to consider the 
man's story a case of mistaken trance ; he 
is anxious to display no other than a med- 
ical interest in the matter, and for that 
purpose intersperses his account with de- 
scriptions of natural curiosities. But when 
he comes to mention the patient's perfect 
health and unearthly peace, he betrays a 
stronger disposition to believe his tale than 
he likes to acknowledge to himself. He 
fights against the conviction ; after saying 
that this Lazarus believes his awakener to 
be God and yet Man, he apologizes for the 
very mention of so monstrous an assertion. 
Yet the affected indifference with which he 
turns aside to describe a curious plant 
which he has seen, cannot hide his emotion 
at the bare possibility of that assertion's 
Mmlik^ This tone of forced calmness is 



maintained to the very close of the letter, 
and then the writer, ceasing to stru^le 
against the truth which is shaking his spirit 
to its centre, exclaims : — 

** The veiy God! think, Abib, dost thou thmk? 
So the All-Great were the AU-Loving too — 
So through the thunder oomes a hamaa 

voice 
Saying, * heart I made, a heart beats here! 
Face, my hands fuhioned, see it in Myself, 
Thou hast no power, nor may'st ooDceive of 

Bline, 
But love I gave thee with Myself to bve. 
And thou must love Me who have died fbr 

thee!' 
The madman saith He siud so : it is strange." 

This is a very fine poem. It is not merely 
that it gives us a sense of pleasurable sur- 
prise, by presenting to us from so strange 
and unexpected point of view the great, 
well-known history, nor only that it is 
true to human nature in its picture of 
man's ignorance taking great for small and 
small for great, things : it derives its espe- 
cial excellence as a work of art from the 
wa^ in which it shows us the awful truth 
which it enshrines, first glimmering from 
afar, next lighting up one face fully amid 
the darkness, and then at last flooding the 
beholder with a sudden blaze of glory. 

Two of Browning's noblest lyrics also are 
on religious subjects. His *' Saul," though, 
as we have mentioned, an anachronism, is 
still a grand expression of fedth in God ; and 
the uprising of all nature at the close of 
the poem, to sympathize with the truth new- 
bom in David's soul is a beautiful concep- 
tion. The latter part of '* Holy-Cross 
Day " (strange end to its sarcastic begin- 
ning^ is the appeal of men faithful to their 
Sortion of revealed truth, the persecuted 
ews, against their Christian oppressors, 
who hold their larger heritage in unright- 
eousness. It is expressed with a force of 
pathetic indignation which is wonderfully 
striking. At the opposite pole to these 
poepds we have that profoundly instructive 
caricature of the exalters of sovereignty 
at the expense of love among the divine 
attributes — Caliban gazing with mingled 
fear and hatred on his own image, magni- 
fied in his Setebos and projectea into the 
clouds for him to worship. 

These five poems are among the best 
known, as they are among the finest, of 
their author. On the other hand, his 
"Christmas Eve" and "Easter Day" 
have hardlyvet received the attention they 
deserve. The first-named is a stranse 
mixture of the lightest sport with the 
gravest earnest. Its humour, now broad 
as in the account of the congregation of 



Digitized by 



Googk 



browning's poems. 



161 



Zion Chapel, now subtle as in the German 
professor's lecture, is enhanced by the 
same far-fetched trisyllabic rhymes as 
those which, in the ^ Hamelin Piper " and 
•* Flight of the Duchess," compete with the 
fun of "Ingoldsby Legends." But this 
humour, perilous from its close juxtaposi- 
tion with sacred things, is still far from 
being irreverence ; for there stands behind 
it so strong a conviction of the importance 
of religious truth, that the possessor of 
that conviction can afford to jest with Jbhe 
absurdities of that truth's adherents. 
From a beginning quaint and lauffhable 
to excess, the poem rises to a vast height 
of moral as well as poetic sublimity. It 
was written at Florence, and by the strong 
grasp it takes with one hand of the home- 
Best and commonest earthly matters, witii 
the other of high and heavenly things, 
might please the great spirit who hovers 
over Amo, and who did the self-same 
thing (but on a vaster scale and with un- 
approachable dignity) in his own mighty 
poem. 

The main idea of <* Christmas Eve " is 
that a Christian cannot despise his mean- 
est or most erring brethren ; if he allows 
himself so to do, he ceases to be a Chris- 
tian any longer. A subsidiary thought is 
that it is one thing, and that most dan- 
gerous, to 

*' Sit apart, holding no forms of oreeds^ 
But contemplating all," 

and quite another (being indeed our 
bounden duty) to '' prove all things, and 
hold fast that which is good." Its sup- 
posed speaker seeks shelter one Christmas 
£ve from a storm among the congregation 
of an ugly meeting-house in the squalid 
outskirts of a town. There, after hearing 
the preacher deduce the doctrine of the 
most holy Trinity from the dream of 
Pharaoh's baker, he (to the pious horror 
of his neighbours) falls asleep, and dreams. 
In that vivid dream he believes himself to 
have rushed out, disgusted by the preach- 
er's perversion of Scripture and by his 
hearers' spiritual pride, and to be walking 
alone on the hill-side. There, reflecting 
on the scene which he has left, he consio- 
ers how he first attained the knowledge 
of €rod in lonely meditation, and thinks he 
may leave others to seek Him in their 
narrow shrines, standing aloof from them 
himself to commune with Him in the 
great temple of His works. He is re- 
proved by a vision. The storm has ceased : 
the moon breaks through the cloud-masses 
which walled her in, and a resplendent 
lunar rainbow spans the vaidt of heaven, 

UVINa AOK. VOL. XX. 897 



the fit herald of the greater glory which 
approaches — the presence of Rim who at 
this season first came down to visit His 
Church, revealed on the same errand to 
the astonished gazer. Then he remem- 
bers that promise to the assembled two or 
three which he had been disregarding, 
and fears to have forfeited his own share 
in it by his contempt for his lowly breth- 
ren. He confesses his fault, and grasps 
the healinff hem of the glorious vesture. 
Wrapped in its folds, he is borne over 
land and sea to Rome. Standing there at 
the door of St. Peter's, he thinks why it is 
that he is left outside while the Divine 
Presence goes within among the assembled 
worshippers. He sees how Infinite Mercv 
can bless the erring by mea^s of the truth 
they still hold, without bidding its more 
enlightened children to receive the error 
because they love the truth. Just as his 
heart is rising to embrace these brethren 
whom his intellect cannot but disapprove, 
he is borne away once more. He now 
finds himself at a lecture-hall in Gottingen, 
which he enters unbidden, hoping to gain 
for his mental powers what Rome denied 
them. The lecturer gravely propounds, 

** Whether 'twere best opine Christ was, 
Or never was at all, or whether 
He was, and was not, both together,*' 

and the believer cannot listen to him long. 
Yet is he struck by the homage rendered 
to that Name even by those who have lost 
their hold of all that can explain and 
justify it. He tries to hope that these 
men's lips deny a truth that their hearts 
receive unknowingly, and is tempted, 
amid these charitable thoughts, to grow 
careless of creeds, to 

** a mild Indifferentism, 
Teaching that iXL oar fiiiths (though duller 
His shine through a dull spirit's prism) 
Originally had one colour." 

But as he so muses he finds to his terror 
that he has lost hold of the saving gar- 
ment altogether. Nor does he recover it 
till he has acknowledged, repentant, 

'* Needs must there be one way, one chief. 
Best way of worship : let me strive 
To find it, and when found, contrive 
My fellows also take their share." 

He feels that man, the conscript in life's 
battle, must ^buy the truth and sell it 
not," alike for the sake of the dying 
around him and for his own. Thereupon 
he ffrasps the vesture once more — and 
awf^es, on the se^at as before beneath the 
preacher, who is just concluding his dia- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



162 



browning's poems. 



course; whence, consenting on reflection 
to drink even from the poorest chalice the 
water of life which refreshes the sick and 
sorrowful around him, he (with a prayer 
for the like blessing on both Pope and 
professor) rises to join in the humble con- 
gregation's eyeninff hvmn. 

So ends one of the boldest combinations 
of incongruous materials ever successfully 
essayed — a poem which makes the reader 
smile at first, and then thrills him with 
awe — the awe not taking away his power 
to smile^ the surface absurdities not dimin- 
ishing the awe. The two descriptions, of 
the rainbow at night and of St. Peter's 
with its myriads of breathless worship- 
pers, woula be pointed out as beauties 
m any poem; while there is a power in 
the divine apparition (suggested, not de- 
scribed) which unspeakably comforts and 
elevates the soul. 

In the companion of '* Christmas Eye," 
"Easter Day,^' a man tells of an awful 
vision which he saw on that blessed morn- 
ing — the product, as he tries to think, of 
his disordered fancy stimulated by an 
aurora of intense brightness, but which he 
sometimes inclines to believe a dread 
reality; so that, while seeming a living 
man amonff the living, he may be, in truth, 
one already tried, sentenced, and under- 
going his doom. He had been examining 
his own heart, he says, when he looked up, 
and, lot the heavens were on fire, the 

freat da^ had come, and he must stand 
efore his Judge — his own conscience 
E renouncing his condemnation, because he 
ad chosen the world for his portion in- 
stead of Him who made it. The light 
dies awiy; all is over, and he hears his 
sentence proclaimed. Different crimes 
find different penalties. His sin has been 
the preference of earthly to heavenly joys. 
His punishment is to live for ever among 
the seeming-real shows of the now van- 
ished world, an exile from heaven and 
from Grod. At first he thinks this doom a 
light one ; for is there not enough beauty 
on the earth to give the mind endless sat- 
isfikction? "ifiiy," replies the Judge, 
"not a mind that knows this fairness in its 
imperfection, for the guarantee of that per- 
fect beauty which it must now never hope 
to see." If nature thus fails the soul, can it 
then find no delight in art? "No, for 
earthly art only charmed as a prophecy of 
that ideal which shall never now be real- 
ized." Can the spirit find no satisfaction 
then in knowledge ? " The goal of knowl- 
edge has been reached." Ah, then 1 cries 
the disappointed man, let me at least love. 
Love gave my aool its purest joys in the 



life that has now vanished. Let it cheat 
itself into still loving its shadowy conk- 
panions, and believing they can love again. 
" Try iti if thou ¥rilt," is the final answer ; 
" but must it not remind thee of that Love 
which miff ht have been thine own? — the 
love which created, redeemed, and would 
have filled thy soul for ever, but- which 
thou couldst not credit (so great was it), 
and didst cast away?" Then the soul 
discerns its hopeless misery, and prays, in 
its despair, at least for power to forget 
its state : — 

** Let that old life seem mine — no more — 
With limitation as before. 
With darkness, hunger, toil, distress: 
Be all the earth a wilderness ! 
Only let me go on, go on. 
Still hoping ever and anon 
To reach one eve the better land. 



** Then did the Form expand, expand — 
I knew Him through the dread disgoise. 
As the whole Ood within his eyes 
Embraced me. 

xxxni. 
** When I lived again 
The day was breaking, — the grey plain 
I rose from, nlvered thiok with dew. 
Was this a vision T False or true T '* 

The speaker knows not which ; his fears 
tell him it was true, and that his own 
is now a hopeless case ; his hopes oftener 
persuade liim that all was but a warning, 
and that to him too the promise of Easter 
mom may vet find fulfilment. 

The leading thought of " Easter Day *• 
is, therefore, that so familiar to an Au^mi- 
tine, to a Herbert, that there is no object 
adequate to fill the boundless capacity of a 
human soul, save He who made it for Him- 
selfl And this thought is enforced with 
an argumentative skill, and adorned by a 
poetic beauty, which will repay close ex- 
amination ; while the great theme is here 
treated with more uniform seriousness 
than in " Christmas Eve." 

Both poems claim the Christian's grati- 
tude by their unwavering and fearless 
faith; both command the critic's admira- 
tion by the mastery they exhibit over the 
most unyielding materials, by their won- 
derful flights of fimcy, and by the lofty 
beauty which they attain in their best 
passages. 

The versification of "Christmas Eve" 
and "Easter Day" exhibits on a larger 
scale the qualities of strength and ease, 
conspicuous in their writer's lyrics, both 
in those which present ns with fSftmiliar 
measures, and in those where (the musi- 



Digitized by 



Googk 



browning's posms. 



163 



oian of the prophecy in " Pippa " turning 
poet instead of painter) new combinations 
of sound are essayed and startling varia- 
tions effected. Here, as we have said 
already, the peculiarities of the author's 
genius sometimes interfere with the read- 
er's pleasure ; for some of his short poems 
are effectually precluded by their subject 
from pleasingj in whatsoever else they may 
succeed. Others, not professedlv comic, 
burlesque their theme by out-of-the-way 
rhymes and odd exprezsious, instead of 
setting it off for our admiration. Others, 
again, though fine in conception, exhibit 
failures in execution — such as the offence 
against good taste of the disagreeable sim- 
iles, the grass which grows ^ scant as hair 
in leprosy," and the earth which breaks 
into " boila " and " blotches " in " Childe 
Roland." With such faults must be classed 
quite needless descents from a high poetic 
eminence to a level of plain, perhaps ludi- 
crous, prose — descents proper and natural 
in drama, which is a miniature represen- 
tation of human life aa a whole, but im- 
proper and very disturbing in lyric poetry, 
which aims at depicting single exalted 
moments of life taken by themselves. An 
instance of our meaning, and at the same 
time an exemplification of the saying that 
in some cases ** the half is more thim the 
whole/' is afforded by ** The Grammarian's 
Funeral," a poem wnich we may assume 
to be well known to those for whom we 
write. In it low words like ^dab" and 
** queasy," and the prosaic and minute 
catalogue of the vanous complaints, and 
somewhat trivial studies, of the deceased 
mar the crave solemnity of the burial 
chant. Tnej iU accord with the peculiar 
and very fine musical efiect of the bearers' 
song, as they carrv their beloved teacher's 
corpse to his lony burying-place, their 
measured tread keeping time to the ac- 
cents of their manly grief, swellinff up- 
wards in the long iambic line, to fall back 
regularly in the short succeeding adonic. 
But after allowing for all drawbacks, we 
still find much delightful both to mind 
and ear in Browning's lyrics, and see in 
them one of his surest passports to im- 
mortality. Already his " P^aracelsus " is 
opened ofbener for the sake of those it con- 
tains t^an for any other reason. Some of 
them give fuller expression to their writ- 
er's love of nature, and close observation 
of her various aspects, than the longer 
poems, where such gifts are of necessity 
subordinated to ^ the proper study of man- 
kind." Two of the lyrics* give a livelier 

• <* Br the Firedde " and " The EngUsbman in 
lUly.- 



idea of the scenery of north and south 
Italy than many volumes of travels. 
Others set before us the Venice of the past 
with graphic power. Of these, '' In a Gon- 
dola " is one of the smoothest and sweet- 
est of its author's compositions — the ever 
varying music of the poem conveying to 
the mind an ineffaceable impression of that 
passionate love of Italian hearts which 
laughs at death and fate, as the verse flows 
on, now languishing like the floating 
barque, now steady as the rhythmic beat 
of the oars, which bear the doomed pair on- 
ward ; now broken by the bursts of song 
which rise from them ever and anon in fit- 
ful snatches as they sweep to their destruo- 
tion. The same sense of how love is able 
to compress an eternity into an hour is the 
inspiring thought of " The Last Ride To- 
gether," where the full strong tide of feel- 
ing rolls, wave after wave alike, each curl- 
ing over and breaking in anapsestic foam. 
But to Enfflish hearts the shorter poem 
entitled "* The Lost Mistress " will be al- 
ways dearer than these, alike for its sim- 
plicity and its self-restraint. 

** Thc Lost Misrmns. 



« All's over, then : does tmtb soond bitter 
As one at first believes? 
Hark! 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter 
About your cottage eaves! 

u. 

*' And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly; 
I noticed that to-day; 
One day more borsts them open fully — 
Ton know the red turns grey. 



'* To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest? 
May I take your hand in mine ? 
Mere friends are we, — well, friends the merest 
Keep moch that I'll resign : 

IV. 

'* For each glance of that eye so bright and 
black, 
Though I keep with heart's endeavour, — 
Your voioe, when you wish the snowdrops 
back. 
Though if stay in my soul for ever! — 



" Tet I will but say what mere friends say. 
Or only a thought stronger; 
I will hold your hand but so long as all may. 
Or so very little bnger! *» 

There are three very noble lyrics in the 
later volume entitled ^Dramatis Per- 
sonsd," though in two of them — '* Rabbi 
Ben Ezra " and « Abt Vogler "— the lofti- 
ness of the thoughts sometimes outsoars 



Digitized by 



Googk 



164 



browning's poems. 



adequate clearness of expression. The 
first-named is a fine hymn of the aeed, 
with its solemn expansion of the metaphor 
of man the clay, and time the wheel on 
which the great Potter shapes him. The 
swift movement of " Abt Vogler " echoes 
well (until its prosaic termination) the ex- 
temporizer's thoughts, who survey's with 
priae " the palace of music " he rears, and, 
mourning its disappearance, turns for re- 
lief to the Sole-Ohanffeless, in Whom dl 
fair things for ever abide. Hiis is the last 
stanza but two : — 

*' All we have willed or hoped of dreamed of 
good shall exist; 
Not its semblanoe, bat itself; no beauty, 
nor good, nor power 
Whose voice has gone forth, bat each survives 
for the melodist 
When eternity confirms the conception of 
an hoarf 
The high that proved too high, the heroic for 
earth too hard. 
The passion that left the ground to lose it- 
self in the sky, 
Are music sent up to God by the lover and 
the bard; 
Enough that He heard it once : we shall 
hear it by-and-by." 

"Prospice," the best known of the three, 
is a stirring and soul-uplifting strain, nei- 
ther hard to understano, nor anywhere de- 
viating into prose. Its neculiar staccato 
efibct 18 similar to that or ** Saul," though 
not produced in the same manner. For 
readers (if anv there be) to whom Brown- 
ing's remarkable and successful use of such 
metres is not known, we extract a briefer 
specimen, one of the most striking of his 
minor poems ; in which the short Ime com- 
posed of two anapaests (following and 
rhyming to the three of the longer line) 
represents bv its abruptness the misery of 
the successud duellist, which becoming 
too great for words, breaks off shorter yet 
in the last line of all : — 

"Atteb. 

**Take the cloak from his face, and at first 
Let the corpse do its worst 

<* How he lies in bis rights of a man! 
Death has done all death can. 

*' And absorbed in the new life he leads. 
He recks not, he heeds 
Nor his wrongs nor my vengeance — both 
strike 
On his senses tlike. 
And are lost in the solemn and strange 
Siirprise of the change. 

*' Ha! what avails death to erase 

His offence, my disgrace? ' 



I would we were boys as of old 

In the field, by the fold; 
His outrage, Qod's patience, man*s scorn. 

Were so easily l)ome. 

" I stand here now, he lies in his place : 
Cover the fstce." 

The music of this poem is not of the old 
familiar sort, like that of ^The Lost 
Leader " or ** The Cavalier Tunes " on the 
one hand, or that of ^Johannes Agricola," 
or "Any Wife to any Husband" on the 
other; but it suits the subject well, and, 
when once learned, clings closely to the 
memory. 

There is another peculiar metre which 
is a favourite with Browning ; it is that of 
this commentary on the saying, ** Heaven 
is for those who have fEufed on earth,** 
which we here present to our readers ; pre- 
mising that, beautiful as it is, they will see 
in it three instances (though very mild 
ones) of the faults we nave already men- 
tioned. The slightly-confused metaphor of 
the second stanza's first line, the imperfect 
rhyme of the same stanza's last word, and 
the very unpoetical expression at the end 
of the first stanza's second line, are un- 
sought examples, on a small scale, of their 
author's occasional defects of taste. But 
they are here eclipsed by the splendour 
of one of the most effective contrasts ever 
drawn, the same figure noble in the sun- 
shine, but standing out far nobler in the 
storm ; and they are overpowered by the 
grandeur of the sufferers final appeal 
&om man to God : — 

«« Tbb Patbiot. 



** It was roses, roses all the way 

With myrtles mixed in my path like mad. 
The house-roof^ seemed to heave and sway. 
The church-spires flamed, such flags thej 
had, 
A year ago on this very day. 



' Tfie air broke into a mist toith bells. 

The old walls rocked with the crowd and 
cries. 
Had 1 said, < Good folk, mere noise repds. 

But give me your son from yonder skies! * 
They had answered, ' And afterward what 
else?' 



" Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun. 
To give it my loving friends to keep! 

Nought man could do have I left undone : 
And you see my harvest, what I reap 

This very day, now a year is ran. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



browning's poems. 



165 



** There's nobody on the house-tops now — 
Just a palsied few at the windo.vs set; 

For the best of the sight is, all allow, 
At the Shambles* Qute — or, better yet. 

By the very scaffold's foot, I trow. 

V. 

*' I go in the rain, and, more than needs, 
A rope outs both my wrists behind; 

And I think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds. 
For they fling, whoever tas a mind, 

Stones at me for my year's misdeeds. 



" Thus I entered, and thus I go! 

In triumphs, people have dropped down 
dead. 
* Paid by the world, — what doet thou owe 

Me ? ' God might question : now instead, 
'Tis Qod shall repay! I am safer so." 

The last of 'Browning's short poems 
about which we can say a word at present 
is the romance which derives its name from 
Edgar's song in King Lear : a weird story 
invented to match a Shakspearean title, 
rather than, like Tennyson's beautiful 
Marianas, an expansion of a Shakspearean 
idea. We would not fear to take any one 
who had read ^ Childe Roland to the Dark 
Tower came " through carefullv, for judge 
of many of our preceding observations. 
For the less favourable would be Justified 
on a cursory inspection of its thirty-four 
stanzas, by a suf&ciency of prosaic and 
careless expressions, and by more than a 
sufficiency of grotesque and painful meta- 
phors; while the very real poetry, which 
these blemish without destroying, would 
prove of itself the justice of our praise. 
The poem at first sight appears the recol- 
lection of a nightmare : the river, '* so 
petty, yet so spiteful," its suicidal willows 
and its hidden horrors, the traces of deadly 
combat on its bank and the grim wheel of 
torture on the road, furnishing aU the 
scenery of a fevered dream. But from 
amidst these wild forms there emerges a 
striking image of life, of its many disap- 
pointments, its strange successes ; and the 
mysterious story becomes a parable, sad 
yet inspiriting, of youth's desire attained 
when youth's illusions are no more, too 
late for joy, but not too late for duty; of 
the highest of all the kinds of courage, 
that of the man who, bereft of his early 
comrades, finds the stroke which he was to 
have struck with them brought unexpect- 
edly within the reach of his single arm ; 
who knows that whether he conquers or 
fidls it must now be alone, yet nerves him- 
aelf to do a man's part and to strike the 
blow, alike without sympathy and without 



applause. The teller of the tale has vainly 
sought the Dark Tower for years ; there to 
penorm some great, but unexplained ad- 
venture. After all his hopes have died 
away, left last of the goodly band who first 
vowed the enterprise along with him, he 
learns amazed and half incredulous, from 
a *♦ hoary cripple with malicious eye," the 
right track to the Tower. He follows it 
in the evening light, over a long and 
dreary plain, amid the discouragement of 
fearful or loathsome sights, and yet sadder 
and bitterer memories. As he pursues his 
way, his object seems to draw no nearer ; 
nor can he recognize the goal of his life- 
long wandering at first, as it rises up be- 
fore him in the failing daylight. Then fol- 
low the last four stanzas of the poem, as 
unsurpassed in their ever-gathering swell 
of rich, full sound, as in the excitement of 
their vivid imagery : — 

XXXI. 

«* What in the midst Uy but the Tower itself T 
The round squat turret, blind as the fool's 

heart. 
Built of round stone, without a counterpart 
In the whole world. The tempest's mocking 

Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf 
He strikes on, only when the timbers sturU 



*< Not see T because of night perhaps T Why, 
day 
Came back again for that! before it left 
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft : 
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay. 
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, — 
*Now stab and end the creature — to the 
heft!' 

xxxin. 
"Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it 
tolled 
Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears. 
Of all the lost adventurers my peers, — 
How such a one was strong, and such was 

bold. 
And such was fortunate, yet each of old 
Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of 
years. 

xxxrv. 
'* There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, 
met 
To view the last of me, a living firame 
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame 
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet 
Dauntless the slug-bom to my lips I set. 

And blew. * Childe Roland to the Dark ■ 
Tower came,* " 

It now remains, in order to complete our 
survey of the most many-fiided poet of our 
day, that we proceed to a somewhat more 



Digitized by 



Googk 



166 



browning's poems. 



detailed exammation of his latest work: 
the collection of monologues, astonishing 
alike by their subject anatheir size, which 
he has entitled " The Ring and The Book." 
But for this we haye no space at present. 
And we therefore content ourselves with 
invitinff those unknown friends who have 
patiently borne us company thus far in our 
researches, to join us on a future occasion 
in exploring the remote bays and devious 
channels of that vast sea of words which 
yet lies before us. Would that we could 
characterize our second voyage of discov- 



ery as Dante does his own 1 But if truth 
forbids us to tempt our comrades forward 
by saying with him — 

** Per oorrer miglior acqaa alxa le vele 
Omai U navioeUa del mio ingegno,** 

we can at least promise them the charm 
of novelty ; and bid them prepare to see 
with us new shapes of monsters, or at 
least old foes with a new face, surrounding 
a more hapless Florimel, a worse-befriend- 
ed Una, tnan ever before visited a poet's 
dreams. 



Civil Sebviob Examinations. — There is a 
time of life at which a yoaog man's friends be- 
gin to ask, with a certain anxiety. What is to 
be done with him 7 The question, it most be 
admitted, is often very perplexing, for the only 
fact that can be predicated with any degree of 
confidence of many youths is that Providence 
does not seem to have designed them for any- 
thing in particular. The clever lad may go to the 
Universi^, take his chance of a fellowship, and 
fight his way in any of the learned professions 
for which he has a mind. But suppose that 
the young g^tleman in question is a fool; that 
is to say, suppose that he belongs to oae of the 
most numerous classes of mankind. It must be 
confessed that his prospects are rather dispirit- 
ing at the present day. There is still a chance 
for him if there is a good living in the fiimily, 
or if it is engaged in one of those mysterious but 
most enviable businesses in which the only qual- 
ification required seems to be a power of writing 
one*s name. But the good old methods of pro- 
Tiding for the duller part of the population 
which depended upon the possession of political 
interest are generally supposed to have fallen 
into much discredit The result is supposed to 
be that there is an increasing difficulty in pro- 
viding for the stupid. What is to become of 
the fools? is a question which is being seriously 
asked, and some persons accept the conclusion 
that it is a good thing that the weaker^bnuned 
part of the population should be exposed to a 
severe struggle for existence. Others maintain 
the more cynical conclusion that the course now 
open for fools is to win high places in competi- 
tive examinations. Whilst we are at school or 
college, we of course believe that a first-classman 
is an epitome of all human excellence. In after 
life we awake to the perception that some of the 
most generally incapable of mankind have man- 
aged to make a very good show so long as their 
capacities were only tested by their &oulty of 
answering questions on paper. However this 
may be — and we confess that this last doctrine 
seems to us rather overstrained — a dead set is 
certainly being made at the fools, as far as ex- 
aminers can do it The new machinery for 
testing intelleotual excellenoe is being rapidly 



put in motion, and we shall soon have an op- 
portunity for observing whether any distinct 
rise is perceptible in the standard of our public 
officials. If it is possible to construct a sieve 
which shall shuffle out all the dross and leave 
the pure diamonds at the bottom, the Civil Ser- 
vice Commissioners will doibtlees contrive it 
They are at any rate to carry out the experi- 
ment on a large scale. Saturday Review. 



Tubs. — The average dates of the leaves 
coming out is, says the Gentleman** Magazine^ 
another rather interesting point. Linnsdus con- 
structed a table of the budding, leafing, and 
flowering of all the trees in his native oountry, 
and, following his example, a similar table for 
England was compiled in 1766, from observa- 
tions made in Norfolk, by Benjamin Stiliingfleet 
(a grandson of the Bishop). It is print^ in 
his «« Miscellaneous Tracts." But the dates 
vary, we suspect, in diflterent localities. Our 
own limited experience would suggest several 
alterations in his table. He puts, for example, 
the abele, or white poplar, and the oak before 
the beech and the lime, which order should cer* 
tainly, we think, be reversed. The ash is usu- 
ally regarded as the latest in coming and the 
first to go; reminding one of Charles Lamb's 
famous excuse for his perfonctory attendance 
at the India House. The statement, however, 
is only half the truth. The lime, although not 
the latest arrival, is really the first to fade. In 
early September, and sometimes before, when 
most other trees are not much past their prime, 
the lime leaf is already brown, and the tree half 
denuded of foliage. Dr. Hunter, in his edition 
of Evelyn, remarks that from this circumstance, 
the tree had come to be less thought of than at 
one time it was. At the other end of the scale, 
the sycamore, among forest trees of the first 
rank, is the earliest to put on the livery of 
spring (about April 9), although the English 
elm and the horsechestnut follow suit very 
closely. The birch is earlier than any of thoBe» 
but it can only olaim a secondary position. 



Digitized by 



Google 



earl's dene. 



167 



PABT XIV. 

CHAPTSB xym. 



It may be thoueht that the position of 
Mark Warden had at last, after a prosper- 
ous course, become more than a little em- 
barrassing — that to speak more strongly, 
nothing was left to him but to throw up 
his cards, and to retire from the table as 
gracefully as a man who sees that luck is 
against him may. Grood cards had cer- 
t^nly been dealt him at the opening deal, 
and he had certainly plaved tnem well — 
perhaps, indeed, he had done even a little 
more than merely content himself with 
playing them welL But no one can fore- 
see all thinffs. His programme had been 
plain enonpi up to a certain point, and all 
things had hitherto proceeded strictly in 
accordance with it. He had become on the 
best possible terms with Miss Raymond — 
he was rid of Marie without haying been 
forced to resort to extreme means in order 
to be rid of her — he stood high in the 
good graces of Bliss Clare — he was prac- 
tically secure of his seat in Parliament, 
and Hu|h had fallen altogether out of the 
field. But then had come in this unex- 
pected complication in the person of F^lix 
— a complication for which, eyen had he 
been a second Argus, he could not, any 
more than any one else, haye been j>re- 
pured. Eyen he, it will be thought, must 
begin to suspect that the proyerbs with 
wmch he had on a former occasion sought 
to comfort his soul, and which set the will 
of man — at least of such men as are capa- 
ble of forming a purpose, and of keeping 
to it when formed — aboye the might of 
all possible circumstances, were litue bet- 
ter than mere epigrams after all, and as 
false as epigrams, always necessarily one- 
sided, must always be. But such a 
thought on the part of those who haye 
taken the trouble to follow his career 
would wrong him terribly. That nature 
of his that made it always impossible for 
him to surrender a purpose once formed 
was not likely to change now ; and a brain 
that can only keep cool needs no extraordi- 
nary fertility in resource in order to find 
the means of attaining any possible end. 
The change of immediate adyersaries 
caused Warden surprise, bnt simply no 
embarrassment. Eyen the surprise did 
not last for long: he had long ago had 
good cause for writing down Hugh as the 
very prince of asses, on whose part any new 
piece of folly could not be so extreme as 
to afford any matter for wonder on the 
part of a sane man. 

^ One story/' says another proyerb, ^ia 



always good till another is told." No 
doubt eyen Shylock would haye a great 
deal to say for himself could he be heard 
by his counsel at the bar of posterity, in* 
stead of being condemned offhand on the 
ex parte statement of the counsel for An- 
tonio. It is yery possible that the latter 
was a great rascal, if the trul^ were 
known, and that Shylock was actuated by 
the best motiyes in the world. And so, to 
come down from illustrious to obscure ex- 
amples, it is much to be feared that in ^e 
matter of this history also the judgment 
of the reader has been deliyered prema- 
turely. There is no story in the world 
that cannot be told in at least two ways: 
and he has, so far, heard that of Earl's 
Dene told only in one. Now, therefore, in 
justice to all concerned in it, let him hear 
it told as, without a single change of inci- 
dent, without a single modification of 
theory, it might haye been told. 

Miss Clare of Earl's Dene, then, a proud 
and obstinate old lady — but, like most 

Sroud and obstinate people, yery easily 
eceiyed — had adopted her nephew, Hiigh 
Lester by name, to be her heir in fkct and 
her son in affection, and had deyoted her 
life to his welfare and happiness. She 
had brought him up with all the care and 
loye of a mother : she had sent him into 
Parliament, and had found for him the 
yery best of wiyes. But this young man, 
with a stranee and fiital penrersity, had 
shown himself in eyery respect unworthy 
of his good fortune and of her deyotion. 
That he was destitute of brains was not 
his own fault : but he might at least haye 
shown himself possessed of the most com- 
mon flpratitude. In the midst of an import- 
ant election in which all things depended 
for their result nponhis conduct and en- 
ergy, he wasted his time and neglected 
his duty in a clandestine and unworthy 
loye amdr with a girl who afterwards 
made an ignominious failure on the stage : 
and, when it was accidentally discovered, 
he was fool enough and ungrateful enough, 
though at the nsk — as he well knew — 
of breaking the heart of t.is benefactress, 
and with the oertainty of disappointing all 
her hopes, to take this girl with him to 
London, to secretly marry her, and, with 
her aid, to enter upon a career that was 
yerj like one of swindling, to say the least 
of it^ not only in order to liye, but to pro- 
yide for his own and his wife's extraya- 
gance. Miss Clare, in spite of her afleo- 
tion for him, could not out cast him off: 
he was obliged to wiUidraw fhnn his club, 
and was cut by all his former acquaint- 
ance. At last» in spite of the skill of his 



Digitized by 



Googk 



168 



EABI/S DBNB. 



wife and of himself in the noble art of Hy- 
ing upon fictitious credit, and upon money 
borrowed without the remotest prospect 
of ever repaying it, he fell into a state of 
complete destitution, and found himself 
the guest of an officer of the Sheriff of 
Middlesex. Driven to his last resources, 
he formed a desicn as ingenious as it was 
bold, and as boldas it was execrable. 

Miss Clare, as it has been said, was of a 
credulous nature, and her life had not 
been quite so immaculate as was sup- 
posed. In her earlier life she had had a 
son whose loss in infancy was a matter of 
history. But his death, though it was 
notorious, had never been actuaUy proved. 
So Hugh Lester got hold of a foreign ad- 
venturer from Paris, an old lover of his 
wife, also at his wits' end for a living, 
whom he induced to combine with him to 
carry out an atrocious fraud — nothing 
less than that this fellow, F^lix Creville b^ 
name, whose surname by a happy coinci- 
dence had some resemblance to tnat of the 
father of the child, should personate that 
child, and so secure for himself, nominally 
for himself and for Hugh in reality, what 
the latter had justly forfeited, and what 
should by rights have passed to others. 
The scheme succeeded to admiration. 
Miss Clare was not only credulous, but 
was even willing to be deceived ; . and so she 
made a will, leaving the whole of her es- 
tate to her supposed son. There was, 
however, one obstacle in the way of the 
conspirators in the person of a friend of 
the family who was too clear-siffhted to be 
taken in by this impudent thou^ plausible 
imposture. His name was ManL Warden : 
and he had already proved his disinterested 
friendship for Miss Clare and for her 
nephew also in a hundred ways. It was 
he who by his own indefatigable exertions, 
and without reward, had saved the election 
which Lester had tried his best io throw 
away : it was he who in a spirit of noble 
imselfishness had done all he could to pre- 
vent the ruinous and degrading mesalliance 
that rendered all his exertions in the elec- 
tion vain. But he who had shown himself 
capable of putting so abominable a fraud 
upon his mother, was not likelv to have 
manv scruples about ridding himself of 
his friend. It was necessary somehow to 
put the latter out of the way, though at 
the risk of his own life. He was no cow- 
ard: on the contrary, he had already 
shown himself a willing duellist in addi- 
tion to his other merits : so, with the aid 
of his accomplice, he forced a duel upon 
Warden, and 

Well, the result was yet to be known ; 



but whatever that result might be, this 
was the story that, if Warden should sur- 
vive the meeting, must needs go forth to 
the world, and, by a very little judicious 
management, become accepted by Miss 
Clare also. I^ on the other hand, mat- 
ters should take a contrary turn, his own 
conduct and character would still remain 
stainless — supposing that to be worth 
consideration in the case of a dead man. 
For Warden, who had been willing to risk 
all things upon the chance of a bullet, as 
between himself and Fdlix, was fax more 
willing to risk all things upon the chances 
of the same game now that his opponent 
was far more important, and that victory 
would be victory indeed. 

Not that he by any means intended to 
leave the event of the game entirely to be 
decided by Fortune. That had never 
been his way, nor was it now. Hitherto 
he had invariably treated her as his loyid 
servant, and he was not likely to accept 
her as his mistress in the very crisis of his 
success. Other things may be managed 
besides dice, and ma(& friendly to the in- 
terest of the thrower : and a pistol may be 
loaded in more senses than one. Not that 
he was going to do anything unfair — was 
he not a man of honour and a gentleman? 
And besides, had he been neiuier, such a 
thing was out of the question. But he 
knew himself, and he knew his opponent : 
and, as whist-players well know, a great 
deal may be done, when this is the case, 
without a single false shuffle of the cards. 
He, as a wise man, and therefore able to 
accept facts and look them well in the face, 
could not but see that the meeting be- 
tween himself and Hugh would have to be 
final in the most extreme sense : that no 
more than one of the two must be permitted 
to leave the ground. And, as being some- 
thing more than a wise man, he quite 
made up his mind that the one who was to 
be left upon the ground should not be he. 

Of course he still ran some risk — that 
was inevitable : but he ran no more than 
he had already made up his mind to run. 
Even a blockhead may shoot as straight as 
a wise man : and shot for shot, the block- 
head was perhaps the more likely to shoot 
straight of the two. But Warden had his 
own views on this matter, and saw no rea- 
son to be afraid of his star. For the pres- 
ent it was necessary to make himself mas- 
ter of the situation in all its details — of 
the nature of Felix's claim, as to how far 
it was capable of proo^ and of the extent 
— about which, however, he felt tolerably 
secure — to which he could count upon the 
heart of Miss Baymond. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



barl's denb. « 



169 



First, of conraey he relieved the mind of 
M^or Andrews by telling him of the new 
course that things had taken: that his 
opponent was one with whom a gentleman 
mighty with a good social conscience, aid 
another gentleman to exchange shots. In- 
deed he now ventured to tell his own ver- 
sion of the story of Earl's Dene a little 
more fully, so that he might, in case occa- 
sion required, be provided with a favour- 
able witness as to his own motives in the 
affair. The Migor remained a little mysti- 
fied stiU, and saw that there was more in 
the business than appeared: but there 
could be no doubt that the overt insults 
on either side were sufficient, without 
eoing below them, to afford an ample casus 
oelli, and that it was high time for nego- 
tiations to cease, and for the pistol to t>e 
called in as an arbiter. It is not necessary 
to enter into an analysis of the psychology 
of Major Andrew : it is sufficient to as- 
sume that Warden would not have chosen 
any man for his guide, philosopher, and 
firiend who was not likely to guide, advise, 
and stand by him in whatever way he him- 
self pleased. 

After having finished this important 
piece of business bv givins his friend cctrte 
olanche to keep within the letter of his in- 
structions, to speak Hibemically, he con- 
sidered what his next movement should 
be. He would have very much liked to be 
able to see Miss Clare, in' order to learn 
at headquarters what was the true po- 
sition of things, or at all events what 
view was there taken of them. But with 
this d^el hanging over him he felt that it 
was politic to absent himself for the 
present. So he contented himself with 
calling to inquire after her, and was not 
displeased to find that immediate com- 
munication with her was impossible, as she 
had just left town. He was a little put 
out by not having been officially informed 
of her departure, but this was too easily 
accountable for him to be rendered serious- 
ly anxious bv it. Indeed he was in fact 
only too glad that she was out of the way : 
his constuit presence at her house would 
now have been embarrassinj; to him, and 
he could not have broken it off without 
remark. So, as it was still early, he 
amused himself for an hour or so at a 
shooting-gallery in the neighbourhood — 
he had not the art of killing time by loung- 
ing — and then, having satisfied himsea 
that his eye and hand were in full accord, 
went to call upon Miss Raymond. 

She was in, out she was not in — that is 
to say, she was reported as being not at 
home : but, when Warden asked leave to 



write a note to her, and gave his card, she, 
while he was writing, came into the room 
into which he had been shown. 



CHAPTBR XIX. 

« So Miss Clare has left town, I find ?" he 
asked, as he folded up his half-written 
note and put it into his pocket. ** Is it not 
rather sudden? I hope she was well 
enouffh to undertake the journey ? " 

" Yes : she left on Friday — yesterday. 
Home is the best place for her now." 

** She has had some great excitement, I 
am afraid, that was too much for her ? I 
hope " 

** I hope, too, that all will be well again, 
now that she has forgiven Hugh." 

** Then as to the cause of her illness — 
as to what else has happened — she has 
told you nothing ? " 

'^ Nothing. After Hugh left her she 
scarcely spoke a word." 

"Not even to you? Well I too hope 
that all is well again between her and 
Hugh, with all my heart. But do you 
know that this very reconciliation has 
rather alarmed me ? " 

"Alarmed you?" 

" Yes. You know Miss Clare that she 
is justice and eoodness itself: but that, 
like many people who are justice itself^ 
she is not very apt to forgive ? " 

"I do not understand you. I should 
think that being ready to forgive was a 
part (^justice. And what can we be more 
glad of than that she should be friends 
again with Hush ? " 

" Nothing, of course. But you know 
what these sudden reconciliations are apt 
to mean with people like her. She was cer- 
tainly very ill before she sent for Hush : 
and there was no more reason for her for- 
giving him then than at anv other time." 

Miss Raymond looked alarmed. " You 
think there is real danger, then — that^er 
illness is so serious ? " 

" That is what I m^ant. But her being 
able to take this long ioumey is certainly 
reassuring. Only — do you know of any 
other reason for her sending for him, besides 
her being ill?" 

"None." 

^ You are in her confidence : you would 
probably know if there were." 

" I am aware of nothing more. Indeed 
she has told me notMng." 

Warden drew a breath of relief. This 
ignorance on her part made his course &r 
more easy than he had even hoped to find 
it. 

" My dear Miss Raymond," he said, " you 



Digitized by 



Googk 



170 



earl's dsnb. 



have relieved my mind more than I can 
say. I was afraid of all sorts of mysteries : 
and, as tou are no longer seriously anxious 
about Miss Clare — you who know her 
best — neither am I." 

^**She was so much better after seeing 
Hugh that I really think there is no cause 
for fear." 

^ This has been an anxious time for us 
all, however." 

^ Tes : and you have been such a true 
friend — you, with so much to think about 
besides." 

<" What could I think of but Miss Clare 
and you ? I am glad you do me justice. 
Do you know, I was inclined to doubt it 
lately?" 

"Why?" 

"I thought — well, it does not matter. 
Hugh is an older friend than I am, after 
all.'^ 

"Poor fellow I Yes: but are you not 
now an old friend too ? " 

" I wish he would think so." 

" And does he not ? " 

" You see men are not apt to think too 
justly of those who rise, however unwill- 
ingly, upon their fall. And I thought some- 
ho w, when I last met you — when he came 
to you — that -^ it is so difficult to sav — 
that, to speak plainly, I was treajbea as 
though, havinff shared your anxieties, I 
should be ill-pleased to share your happi- 
ness. There, I have made my confession, 
and am glad to find that it was not 
needed." ^ 

Miss Raymond blushed, for the com- 
plaint was not altogether without founda- 
tion. Somehow, though her reason and 
her inclination were on Warden's side, 
some instinct within her had certainly 
proved his enemy on the occasion to which 
he referred. 

She held out her hand. "I am afraid 
we were thinking too much of ourselves," 
she said. "I niow — Miss Clare must 
know — that there is no one so much en- 
titled to share in her happiness as vou." 

"Thanks indeed I" he said, takmg her 
hand and retaining it for an instant. 
" You are right in that So they are really 
reconciled?" 

" I hope so — indeed I am sure of it." 

" In spite of that unhappy marriage ? " 

"If it is unhappy. Why should it be ? 
Because Ang61ique was poor — because 
she was of lower rank than he ? Must an 
unequal marriage always be an unhappy 
one?" 

"God forbid! I called it unhappy be- 
cause it had been the means of parting a 
mother and a son. But you really thmk. 



then, that a marriage to be happy need 
not be equal?" 

< 'Ahy I suppose you think me very un- 
fashionable in my opinions ? " 

" It is always unmshionable to be right, 

I am afraid. For myself I think " he 

paused. 

"Well?^ 

" That un£Ewhionable marriages — those 
made in the teeth of the world — are gen- 
erally the happiest ones. Do you think 
me very romantic for a lawyer ? " 

« Well — perhaps I do, a little ! I was 
afraid you were going to laugh at me." 

" Ah, a lawyer is not so unronumtic a 
being as you may imagine. And perhaps 
he is the more apt to believe in romance 
even than other men, because he sees into 
the hidden depths of men's lives : because 
he sees below the surface that society has 
laid over them. It is boys and the inexpe- 
rienced who laugh at Poetry: wise men 
know that it is poets after all who are the 
wisest of men." 

Miss Raymond looked at him quickly. 
She felt that he was not altogether oonfin- 
inff himself to an abstract question. 

He saw her look, and said with studied 
abruptness — 

" Miss Raymond — your words have 
given me a strange hope." 

She could not but guess what was com- 
ing. Indeed for that matter she might 
have expected it long ago : and yet even 
now she had not maae up her mind as to 
her answer. She could not trust her heart, 
which, though fond of freedom and not in- 
clined to yield, was still far from bepg in- 
clined to be cruel. And yet, though she 
felt embarrassed, she showed no outward 
sign that she even suspected what he was 
going to say. Girls like her have a mar- 
vellous power of self-control when they 
feel themselves to hold such a situation in 
their own hands, and to be able to surren- 
der, to postpone the surrender, or not to 
surrender at all, just as they please. An- 
g<&lique would have driven her lover at 
once to the point at which she intended 
him to arrive : Marie would have listened 
like a timid child : but Miss Raymond lisr 
tened as all women but one in ten thou- 
sand would listen. She was excited, but 
outwardly composed : and she was equally 
prepared either to accept or to refuse. 

*I wonder whether you guess what I 
mean ? " he went on. "I have long 
dreamed, without daring to hope — how 
indeed could 1 dare ? " — " I feel," he con- 
tinued, after another moment, during 
which she was silent, neither aiding him 
nor preventing his saying what he had to 



Digitized by 



Googk 



earl's dene. 



171 



Bay, **that I am in no way your equal in 
the way that the world talks of equality. 
Whatever I may be now, whatever m time 
I hope to be, you are still Miss Raymond 
of New Court — a great lady, who might 
be still greater if she chose. Tou are 
beautiful, you are good, it is not only to 
me that you are the first of all women in 
the world. No — I do not know how to 
flatter. And I — well, I am a gentleman, 
I hope, but still a poor fellow who has to 
make his way by his own hands and brains. 
I have done something, even now : and I 
trust to do a great deal more. But in the 
course of things it must be years before I 
can become what the world would call the 
equal of Miss Raymond. How indeed 
Bhould I ever be? I have hundreds of 
faults — no one can fight the world with 
its own weapons and not bear some marks 
of the conflict. But I am ambitious also 
— is that a fault in your eyes? And my 
ambition is to live a life that shall not be 
unworthy even of you. May your words, 
then, reidly give me hope : may I at least 
feel that in my battle witii the world I am 
fighting not for myself but for you — that 
every battle draws me nearer to " 

He spoke with a seriousness that did 
admirable duty for something more. She 
was still silent : but he felt that he had tak- 
en the right line so far. It was with an 
appearance of greater coxifidence that he 
continued, — 

*' I am not speaking wildly. Thank 
God, you at least are not bound by the 
laws of the world ! Yes — I love you with 
all my soul. That, at least, makes me your 
equal in the highest way of all. I do not 
mak you to say to me now all that I trust 
one day to hear you say. But I do ask you 
to tell me to live." 

In spite of her old instinct, that refused 
to be allayed, she was strongly moved : 
for he had made love to her m the very 
way that was most calculated to move a 
girl with no nonsense about her. He had 
talked no nonsense : he had not raved : he 
had spoken like a man, earnestly and to 
the point. Moreover, he had claimed all, 
due respect for himseL^ while he had yield- j 
ed ample respect to her. He had also 
avoidea the grand mistake of protesting 
disinterested motives — a course which a£ 
ways has the ring of self-accusation. The 
superiority that he had conceded to her 
was no more than the superiority which a 
man may always concede to a woman 
without prejudice to his claim to be her 
master. And as she really believed in his 
superiority, she was really flattered by his 
concession; and she had lived too much 



and too invariably in an atmosphere of 
wealth to consciously regard it as a bar to 
her being loved for herself alone. 

A woman is none the worse, however, 
for being on such occasions a little of a 
hypocrite. " Mr. Warden," she said, draw- 
ing herself just a little farther from him — 
for he had imperceptibly advanced towards 
her — " I — you cannot tell how much you 
have taken me by surprise " 

" I hope notJ Have you not seen — " 

" That you cared for me, as a friend — " 

''No more than that? No, I cannot 
think that my secret, though it has been 
silent, can have kept itself so close- 
ly " 

" You ask me, then, to tell you " 

" That you will be my heaven, to strive 
for with sdl my soul." 

This time, the higher flight was not cal- 
culated to displease. 

"But, indeed *" 

" I cannot think that I have spoken to 
you too suddenly. I am content to wait 
— but not without so much hope as you 
can give me now." 

"And if " 

** If you give me that hope ? I promise, 
by all my nope, to deserve it aU. Only 
say that I am not quite nothing to you — 
that you are not displeased " 

'* Displeased 1 It would be strange, in- 
deed, if I were not proud. But " 

"But what?" 

"It is so sudden!" 

" I know that you must think me pre- 
sumptuous " 

"Indeed I do not." 

" You give me that hope, then? If you 
but knew how I love you I " 

Her hesitation had really filled him with 
something like genuine warmth: but as 
his earnestness increased, so also did her 
hesitation. She was beginning to feel 
herself not quite so much mistress of the 
situation as she supposed. Indeed, if she 
had expected to play him and to land or 
not land him as she pleased, she found her- 
self mistaken: and her reason and her 
generous instincts alike acted as his strong 
allies. Nothing would please her better 
than to bestow herself and New Couirt 
upon a strong man who would ^ve as 
much as he received: and his bemg her 
social inferior was in harmony with her 
special form of romance. It must be re- 
membered that all this occurred in days 
when English youn^ ladies acquired that 
reputation for sentmient which in these 
they appear to be tryins so hard to lose. 
And so, in so far as she found her garrison 
somewhat rebellious to her command,, she 



Digitized by 



Googk 



172 



earl's dene. 



was not 80 maoli a hypocrite after all, 
when she pleaded that she had been taken 
by surprise. 

"May I believe you?" she asked, in 
doubt ^- not of the answer, but of herself. 

" I may hope, then ? " 

" This is all so strange I " 

* Strange — that I love you ? " 

He began to feel that this trick also was 
won. " Only answer me now," he went 
on, " so far as you may. I know that it is 
time alone that can give me all that I long 
for. But with hope — with love " 

"Mr. Warden — I cannot answer you 
now." 

" Not even to tell me not to despair ? " 

"What man need ever despair?" she 
said at last. The final sentence had been 
wrung from her, but it had come: and 
that it was final she knew as well as he. 

He certainly knew it : and he knew also 
that she would never fail her word; nor 
would he let the opportunity slip by. 
This time he came close to her, and took 
her hand. 

" Dearest Alice — thanks I " he said, 
with that assimiption of triumph that goes 
far to bring about the triimiph that it 
assumes, and with just enough warmth of 
manner to show that he luiew what he 
had gained. " It will now be the work of 
my whole life to make myself worthy of 
being the happiest man on earth. I need 
press you no more at present — it is 
enough that you know me to be yours for 
ever. When shall I see you again ? To- 
morrow ? But it must be soon, for I shall 
have to leave London for a few days — 
and then " 

But what was to happen then he was 
not permitted to say. He had reached his 
point just in time ; for the footman just 
then entered the room and handed Miss 
Raymond another card. 

"Mrs. Lester?" she said. "Show her 
up at once. Excuse me," she said, again 
turning to Warden, who looked annoyed. 
" It is only Ang^lique, who wishes to see 
me at once." 
" Shall I go ? And about tomorrow ? " 
Ang^ique entered. If circumstances 
had altered Barton for the better, her they 
had proportionately altered for the worse. 
She was dressed carelessly, and looked 
anxious, and worn, and ill. So different 
did she look from her usual self that Miss 
Raymond, pre-occupied as she was, ob- 
served it as soon as she entered. 

"My dear Angdlique," exclaimed the 
latter, embracing her. "Is anything the 



Ang^lique recognized the presence of 
Warden by a look only, which he ackno^ 
edged by a slight bow. He did not think 
it nece:2sary to go away, as Miss Raymond 
had not yet answered his last question: 
and he thought he might perhaps learn 
something if he stayed. He was not in 
the least afraid of Mrs. Lester, but still 
she might have come to indulge in a little 
more of the wild talk with which she had 
lately favoured him, and he preferred that 
she should do so while he was by. 

" Happened 1 " she exclaimed, " Oh, Miss 
Raymond, everything seems to happen 
now that is strange. I saw Hugh yester- 
day — after he had been with you. He 
then left me — and since then I have not 
seen him — him, who had never left me for 
an hour without my knowing where he 
was*" 
" Nor heard from him ? " 
" Not a word till I got this note an hour 
ago. You know all that has happened, do 
you not ? What does it mean Y " 

"Am I to read it?" asked Miss Ray- 
mond, taking an open letter which Ang^ 
lique held out to her. 

" If you would " 

She took the letter to the window and 
read, while Warden leaned against the 
mantelpiece, and Ang^lique threw herself 
into an easy-chair in an attitude of despair 
which looked to him theatrical, but was in 
realitpr genuine. For the first time she 
permitted herself to be natural before the 
eyes of a man : but, even so, the force of 
habit gave to her very naturalness an arti- 
ficial guise. 

The letter was by no means long : but 
it seemed to take a long time to read. 
When Miss Raymond had finished, — 

" This reads strangely indeed I " she 
said, returning to An^lique. who rose 
from her chair. " This from Hugh ? It is 
impossible — there must surely be some 

mistake — some misunderstandmg- " 

Ang^lique shook her head. "To leave 
me so ! " was all she could say in answer. 
"And there is no clue to where he is 
gone?" 
" None. As you see, the letter is not even 

dated. And if you do not know " 

" I ? How should any one, if not you ? " 
She paused, and then said, hesitatingly, — 
" rerhaps Mr. Warden could advise us ? 
Have you any objection—" 

Angdlique shot at Warden a fierce look 
full of meaning, which seemed to say, " Is 
it possible that you can be at the bottom 
of this also ? " But she was in a mood to 



matter — has anything happened — have catch at straws: and if he did know any* 
you heard anything about Marie ? " I thing the extent of his knowledge and of Ins 



Digitized by 



Googk 



earl's denb. 



173 



influence in the matter could only be ascer- 
tained by her avoiding any appearance of 
mlBtm^t or reserre. Of coarse she did not 
reason this out : but she was by instinct a 
diplomatist, and she felt that, for obce, she 
could afiford to be open, if it was only be- 
cause for once she had nothing to conceal. 
**If I can be of any seryice," he said, an- 
swering her look by one of deprecation. 
** May I? ** and as she was still silent, he 
took the letter from Miss Raymond and 
read to himself as foUows : — 

** I am on the point of leaving England for 
ever. I will not distress yon wiUi my reasons. 
Ton will have seen as well as I that our remain- 
ing together after what has passed between us 
would be wrong. I have had a hard lesson: but 
it must be borne. I will only say that I will 
stand in your way no more. Perhaps you will 
■oon be rid of me altogether : any way, I must 
rdieve you of me so fiur as I can. If you only 
knew how I loved you — how I trusted you — 
from what a dre:.m you have woke me! And 
even now, if any prospects were before me such 
as you would care to share, you should still 
thaie them. But to condemn you to share such 
as I have is out of the question now : I must not 
give you cause to complain that you are tied for 
lifb to a stupid fellow who has shown himself un- 
able to help himself — much less you — or that 
I am 80 selfish a cur as to force myself upon one 
to whom my love is only a thing to be used and 
despised. Even if I were willing to lose my own 
seltCrespect and to deserve to lose that of others, 
I must not be so base and cruel to you. For 
your sake I wish that our marriage could be 
dissolved : but as that cannot be, I must be 
content with now doing for you the little that is 
poenble, and with trying to forget how I have 
loved you, if I can. Tou shall be burdened no 
more with one whom vou do not love, and 
who only drags you down. Good-bye — and 
may you be as happy in your own way As I 
wished to make you in mine. 

"HuoH Lbbteb." 

Warden read it once again : even he was 
surprised: and even Ang^lique, who 
watched him narrowly, could not but ad- 
mit that his surprise was unafifected. She 
could not see the one momentary flash of 
triumph that came into his eyes when he 
found fate thus fighting for him indeed. 

^ The scoundrel ! " he exclaimed aloud. 
Ang^que's eyes also flashed for a moment 
— she had learned many things from her 
desolation of the morning, and the letter 
had wounded her soul just where it was 
opening — just where it was beginning to 
draw a new and strange life from its very 
desolation. "No, Mrs. Lester," he went 
on, "I do not ask your pardon for so 
speaking of one who, though he is called 
your husband, is for that very reason all 



the more a scoundrel. So this is the price 
of Miss Clare's forgiveness 1 Take my ad- 
vice, Mrs. Lester — let him go." 

Miss Raymond stared with amazement. 

•« You think " she began. 

^* Is it not plain enough ? Hugh has had 
to choose between his wife and EarFs 
Dene : and he has acted prudently." 

And so indeed it seemed. But Miss 
Raymond was not easily satisfied when she 
was called upon to condemn. 

"But — Ang^lique," she said, "surely 
there must be something : he seems to si" 
lude to something that you must under^ 
stand " 

" But," said Warden, " she is his wife — 
and he deserts her in his prosperity. For 
my part, I find the mystery only too plain." 

"but have you no iaea of what he 
means?" asked Miss Raymond again of' 
Anffi^lique. 

"None — none in the least. And if you 
cannot help me " 

" Ah, we will help you," said Warden, 
" never fear. Lester will not disappear, I 
fancy, for very long. By leaving England, 
I take it, he means London : and by * for 
ever,' perhaps as much as a month. The 
heir of Earl s Dene is not likely to be an 
exile." 

" And what do you advise ? " asked Miss 
Raymond. 

He considered for a moment, and then 
drew himself up. 

" I said I would come to you to-morrow," 
he said. " But now — I will do something 
else first. Yes, Mrs. Lester — I am selfish 
enouffh to welcome this opportunity of be- 
ing able to prove to you also that I am a 
better friend to you and to yours than I 
fear you have taken me for. You shall be 
righted — never fear. And then?" he 
ac^ed, as he turned once more to Miss 
Raymond. 

Ang^lique was mystified and confused. 
She had had good cause to mistrust War- 
den : and she had no reason to place more 
confidence in him now. But her strength 
and deamess of purpose seemed to have 
left her : she had lost the game and her 
head at the same time. Besides, she was 
very unlike her old mistress in the matter 
of unwilUn^ess to suspect evil : according 
to her reading of human nature in genend 
Warden^s opinion of Hugh's conduct was 
natural and probable enough, and she felt, 
though as yet vaguely, that her own had 
rendered his only too excusable. K she 
could only communicate once more with 
Hugh by any means, she made a sort of 
unconscious vow that she would throw to 
the winds the yery remnant of her old 



Digitized by 



Googk 



174 



BABL'd DENE. 



ambition, and be to him as he would have 
her be. It was not that she had become 
less ambitious: but she had begun to 
wake to other needs. 

'' And as to Lester," Warden continued, 
** I think his whereabouts are rery discov- 
erable. One ought not to be a lawyer for 
nothing. I will set about this business at 
once — so. now, dear Miss Raymond, good- 
bye till right is done at last. Then we will 
meet again." 

And so, having bent over her hand, he 
set out like a kmght-errant to deserve the 
lady of his love by protecting distressed 
damsels and doing justice upon their op- 
pressors. He almost regretted that for 
once he had to thank Fortune for favours 
freely bestowed, and not wrested from her 
by his own strength and skilL 

CHAPTER XX. 

Cebtadtlt Warden had not spoken 
without book when he said that ^ugh 
would not prove undiscoverable, at least 
by him. 

Nature often appears in mourning robes : 
but perhaps her aspect is never more sug- 
gestive of sadness than when a windless 
winter morning rises in mist upon a long, 
level waste of sand, upon which the sea, 
looking as though it would be in a rage if 
it could, comes rolling in from the far dis- 
tance, its miles of expanse apparently con- 
centrated in a horizon line of white finnged 
with a black streak which, contrary to all 
ordinary rules of contrast, looks all the 
blacker for being set against a dark-grey 
sky. Such a morning is the very expres- 
sion of all that is dismal and dreary. A 
low sandy shore has no claim to that gran- 
deur which, upon a bolder coast, ennobles 
and sublimates what is drear : there is no 
roar of the sea, no grand steadfastness of 
rocks to raise the soul above the uniform 
level of dull, unbroken melancholy. It 
was to a spot like this upon that Picard 
coast which has seen so many meetings 
between hostile nations and private foes, 
that Hugh came to keep his appointment 
with his former friend. 

It was his second appointment of the 
kind : and a man's second duel is a very 
difierent kind of thing from his first. This 
time he had to go out, not with the elation 
of boyish courage, ready to dare all things 
for the sake of nothing, but with the sen- 
sation of deliberately doing what he would 
have avoided doing if it haid been possible, 
and with a kind of resisned patience as to 
what the issue might be. He had no in- 
tention either of kiTlinff or of being killed : 
but) at the same time, he had no intention 



of turning the duel into a fiskrce by firing 
in the air. 

His opponent, however, was not vet 
upon the ground. He had reached Ctiais 
only the night before, and, having liun 
awake all night, of course fell sound asleep 
towards morning, and did not wake tiU 
nearly the hour fixed for the meeting. 
Presently, however, Mi^or Andrews ap- 
peared, but alone. 

^* Ah ? " he said : ** ffood morning, Lester. 
Bong Jour, Mossiou, What ? Is not War- 
den here? I was to meet him on the 
ground." 

F^x shrugged his shoulders. '^Per^ 
haps he has mistaken the place." 

** Impossible. We walked down here 
last night. By Jove, it's cold 1 " 

** He will doubtless be here immediate- 
ly," said Hugh, who doubted no man's 
courage, and had no reason to doubt War- 
den's. *' You came over last night, didn't 
you ? Was there any news in town ? " 

^'Oh, nothing particular. A pinch of 
snuff? Let me see, though — our friend 
is to have to fight for his seat, after 
all." 

"Warden?" 

" Yes. Of course he's full of it : or else 
I shouldn't know much about a place like 
Denethorp, of course." 

« And who with ? " asked Hugh, with 
interest. " Not Prescot again ? I thought 
he'd retired." 

" It is Prescot, though; He seems to be 
a deep fellow, F^scot. I know him a lit- 
tle, you know, in town. Between our- 
selves, I shouldn't wonder if he'd got an 
inkling of this affiur, and so thought it 
might be as well not to be out of the 
field." 

Hugh was silent. At last he asked, — 

" Are you sure of tlus ? " 

^As one of these pistols. Warden 
showed me a copy of his address — Radi- 
cal, b V Jove, to the backbone I Those sort 
of fellows ought to be hung, every man of 
'em. By George, Lester, you may brine 
in the BLadical after all I And you a good 
Torv too I " 

Hugh's face fell. Miyor Andrews had 
intended to make a joke : but many a true 
word is spoken in jest. 

It was not for more than a minute that 
he spoke. "Have you the address with 
you ? " he asked, very gravely. 

« No — but Warden has." 

" And does he pledge himself to go to 
thepoU?" 

" Not exactly. But he says that circum- 
stances mav very likely induce him to — 
and I think you and I can pretty well 



Digitized by 



Googk 



eabl's dene. 



175 



guess what he means. He knows you can 
hit pretty straiffht if you please." 

"TdUx," said Hugh, "come here. No 
one," he went on, "will think the worse 
of me, I know, if I propose that this meet- 
ing of ours should oe postponed till after 
the contest. I know something of Dene- 
thorp politics: and if anything should 
happen to-day, Prescot would walk over, 
and would keep the seat for ever." 

** Hm I " said the Mt^or. " For my part, 
I should like the affair to be put off for 
^ood and all. We shall have to risk los- 
ing a seat to the Radicals." 

"Couldn't we make some arrangement 
of the kind?" 

" Or suppose you arrange to fire in the 
air, and have it over comfortably ? " 

" I fear not. It is too serious a business, 
and has gone too far. But Warden must 
go to the poll and win — that is certain." 

Mijor Andrews looked at his watch 
rather uneasily. 

" But what can he be doing ? " he asked. 
^ This is one of the few oooaaions when a 
man is bound to be punctual. I will walk 
towards the inn, if you will excuse me, 
and then we will coutinue our conversa- 
tion." 

But just then Warden's figure was seen 
in the distance hurrying along the sands, 
and in a few minutes he joined them. 

He bowed both to Hugh and F^x. He 
was very pale, and it was obvious that he 
was in a high state of nervousness. 

"How can I apologize for having kept 
you waiting ? " he said. " I overslept my- 
self — and that is no excuse, I know." 

The Mijor took him aside. 

"You have walked too fast," he said: 
** you had better be quiet for five minutes. 
Liester has proposed to me — certainly in 
a most honourable manner — that we 
should put off this affiur till the election is 
over. For my own part, at the last 
moment, I should suggest that it be put 
qff altogether. But what do you think of 
hisproposal? " 

Warden considered for a moment. 

" You surprise me a little," he answered. 
^ It cannot oe put off altogether, as you 
know, without my owning myself in the 
wrong, which I cannot do, of course. And 
as for postponing it, that is equally impos- 
sible, as it seems to me. We are all here 
and ready, and we may as well have it 
over." 

"But Mr. Lester has made his oflbr en- 
tirely on your account." 

"I am much obliged to him. But I 
could not think of putting you, on my 
aocount, to such inconvenience." 



" I think you are wrong. Warden. You 
are in my hands, you know, and it is for 
me and for Mr. Creville to decide." 

" Scarcelv, I think. You have probably 
seen enough to have gathered that the real 
cause of our quarrel is and must remain 
entirely private. That being so, the mode 
in which this meeting is arranged must 
also to some extent be less a matter for 
firiends than usual. Oar quarrel must be 
decided in this way sooner or later : and 
the sooner the better." 

" It seems to me that you make my posi- 
tion rather a nominal one." 

" Not at all. Besides, Mr. Creville is in 
precisely the same position." 

" Then let us hear what Mr. Creville has 
to say." 

" You may talk to him if you please." * 

"And you will put yourself in oup 
hands?" 

"I shall certainly refuse to leave this 
place until the amur is arranged — and 
that, as I have told you, can only be in one 
way." 

" You are scarcely acting according to 
rule." 

" On the contrary, I am quite in rule." 

"I think not." 

"But I do. And so " 

"I cannot act for you with my hands 
tied." 

"I do not ask you to do that. The 
affiur is out of your hands so far as negoti- 
ation is concerned. I consider it almost 
an additional insult on the part of Mr. 
Lester to ask for a postponement now. I 
cannot consent to have been forced to 
fight, to have been actually brought at the 
extremest personal inconvenience to the 
ground, and then to be sent back again 
with it hanging over my head still. A 
man who is as prompt to quarrel as Mr. 
Lester should be equally prompt to bring 
his quarrel to the end. You remember 
the advice of Polonius, no doubt. And 
this proposal is not out of consideration to ' 
myself I assure you. You know that he 
and Prescot are old personal enemies, as 
well as political opponents : and it would 
be gall and wormwood to him to see Pres- 
cot returned for Denethorp." 

" K that is so — why, then, certainly — " 

" Why, what else can it be ? He has 
quarrelled with Prescot, he has quarreUed 
with his aunt, and he has quarrelled with 
me. His conduct during the last election 
makes it simply ridiculous for him to pro- 
fess to act on public grounds — and of what 
personal interest can the Denethorp elec- 
tion be to him now, except so far as he can 
prevent the return of one enemy now and 



Digitized by 



Google 



176 



earl's dbnb. 



of another hereafter? He won his own 
election by pistols instead of votes, as you 
know ; and 1 presume he does not wish to 
have been unaer fire in vain. His sparing 
me to-day will prevent Prescot's return 
now, and you may be very sure that so 
professed a duellist will not spare me when 
my seat is won ; and he knows that a third 
contest Prescot wiU hardly care to stand." 

"Certainly vour view alters the case. 
Mossiou Cr^ville, I fear the aSair must go 
on." 

"Assuredly, Monsieur le Mi^or. We 
are quite ready." 

"Ihave something to say," said Hugh. 
"K Warden chooses to nsk losing this 
election, I do not. I insist upon a post- 
ponement; and I will do nothing on this 
occasion to let him run the risk. It will be 
quite useless to go on, for I shall fire in the 
air." 

" That is absurd," said Warden annily. 
" This must go on, and go on now. M^jor 
Andrews agrees with me ; and, if I am not 
mistaken, Mr. Cr^ville also. You may fire 
into the sea, if you like, but you must do 
so at your own peril. I bind myself to 
nothing. You know that what is between 
ns must not end in a farce." 

"Exactly soj" Hugh answered. "And 
BO why go on with what must end in a farce 
now?" 

" It seems to me," said Migor Andrews, 
"that when friends are disregarded and 
kept in the dark, the best thing they can 
do is to retire." 

"And it seems to me," siud Warden," 
."that Mr. Lester has become exceedingly 
anxious that the afi&dr should end in a fiirce 
notionly now but altogether." 

It was nothing less than an accusation 
of cowardice, which Hugh's position, as the 
champion of the family honour, rendered it 
impossible for him to pass by without put- 
ting himself in the wrong for good ana all. 
The Mtjor also, who began to find his own 
situation rather a false one, felt angry. 
His definition of gentlemanlv conduct was 
perhaps rather conventional: but it dis- 
tinctly excluded the passage of insults 
upon the ground. 

"Gentlemen," he said, not displeased 
with an excuse for washing his hands of 
the business, "I will wish you a good 
morning. I did not come to be present at 
a duel of words : when I want that, I can 
go to Billingsgate." And he turned togo. 

" Stop," said Hugh. " After what War- 
den has just said there is nothing more to 
say." 

"I think not either," said the Major: 
^and so I will say nothing more, — good 



morning. I think my friend has managed 
to put mmself in the wrong — and if I am 
ever asked about it I sh^ say so." 

" I am much obliged to you," said Hugh : 
"but I must not give you the trouble. 
Oblige me by remaining and acting for Mr. 
Warden still. If anything should happen, 
both of us may be in need of some one to 
speak of it with authori^." 

" To obli^ you then, Mr. Lester. Mos- 
siou Cr^ville, let us proceed to business. 
You will stimd at twenty paces ; and you 
know the signal. I will give it, and then 
you will both fire." 

The ground was measured, and the oppo- 
nents took their places. Hugh was per- 
fectly calm, and he quite made up his mind 
as to what he ought and what he therefore 
intended to do. Warden was equally de- 
termined, in a way ; but, though outwardly 
calm and steady, was far from being really 
self-possessed. For, though determined in 
the sense of having made up his mind not 
to lose his opportunity, he was anything 
but certain as to how his opportunity was 
to be used. 

About one second had now to elapse be- 
fore the signal was given. 

Such seconds often seem an eternity ; but 
to HxL^h it did not seem long. He was 
still, disinherited as he was, the avowed 
and conscious champion of the right and 
of the honour of Earl's Dene : he was in 
the position of some exiled prince, who still 
regards himself^ though no others so regard 
him, as representing the rights and the 
honour of the country which has deposed 
him. He was bound in honour to receive 
his opponent's fire; but he was equally 
bound in duty not to let his opponent re- 
ceive his own. An accident to Warden 
would more than probably destroy for ever 
the political prestige of Earl's Dene that it 
was nis duty to support as much as its hon- 
our. Because he had lost his rights he was 
not in revenge to throw off his duties. He 
would have preferred to fight under cir- 
cumstances tnat left him free to aim as he 
pleased : but that could not be helped now. 

Warden knew what was in Hugh's mind 
as plainly as if he read it in an open book. 
But the second seemed to him immeasus- 
urably long. He scarcely knew what to 
do. The temptation to take advantage of 
so marvellous an opportunity was almost 
too great to resist, tor his opponent was 
practically standing unarmed before him : 
and yet, for once, he wotdd not unwillingly 
have owed a little to fortune. At last his 
familiar devil, his one idea for which he 
had so long plotted and ventured, threw 
itself into the scale. He fixed his eyes 



Digitized by 



Googk 



EARL S DENB. 



177 



upon those of Hugh, and felt a sort of fas- 
cination that was almost a presentiment of 
what was to come. Indeed he was scarcely 
his own master, even as it was less Faust 
who held the sword than Mephistopheles 
who gruided it that slew Valentine. It is 
not during such instants that impulse has 
time to become self-conscious; and who 
shall say that under such circumstances 



any man is quite responsible for what he 
may or may not do ? 

*• One — two — three ! " counted the 
m^or deliberately ; and the white handker^ 
chief fell upon the sand. Hugh threw up 
his hand above his head ; and two shots, 
with scarcely the smallest interval between 
them, rang with a muffled sound through 
the mist. 



A Stbam Abmt. ~ Ma. Hbnbt Bessemer, 
whose name is identified with a well-known 
process of steel mnnufactare, has conceived the 
idea of strengthening our defences by an '* aux- 
iliary steam army,'* which would have at least 
this recommendation for the economists — that 
it would cost comparatively little to create, could 
be cheaply worked in time of war, and during 
peace would require neither rations, clothes, nor 
pay. His idea is to have a steam fire-engine 
throwing a shower of bullets instead of water. 
A steam fire-engine can throw 181 8-4 lb. — 
representing 2,M0 Enfield rifle bullets — to a 
vertical height of one mile every minute, with a 
consumption of about 6 lb. of coal and three 
^lons of water. These bullets would not re- 
quire to be made up into cartridges, are inde- 
structible either by rain in the open field or 
damp in cdlars, and can be easily conveyed 
without fear of explosion. An increase in the 
weight of the projectile would increase both its 
range and force, and 2 oi. bullets might be 
used for a long range, being propelled at the 
rate of 1,000 a minute. A machine with three 
parallel barrels could throw 2 ox. shot at long 
range from the centre barrel, and 1 ox. shot 
(2,000 a minute) at short range from the side 
barrels. 

We certainly have (8tTt Mr. Beisemer) In the 
steam flre-engme the irrennurable proof of great pro- 
jectile power, with steam of only 160 lb. pressure. 
Such stpam would rush into the atmosphere at a ve- 
locity exceeding 1,900 tl per second, xfow, a 2 ox. 
lead ball presents a transverse area of -6 of a square 
inch, ana consequently steam of 150 lb. pressure 
would impinge on it with a force equal to 90 lb. As 
the weight of the ball is only 2 oz., we have a power 

aual to 720 times the work to be performed. It is 
ir to infer that under proper arrangements the 
bullet will acquire nearly the velocity of the issninjK 
steam; but suppose that in practice it fldls short of 
this velocity by some 800 ftet per second, we should 
still have an initial velocity of 1,600 ft. per second 
as compared with the 1,100 ft. or 1,200 ft. per sec- 
ond, which is the ordinary veloci^ of projectiles 
(W>m the Armstrong gun. 

An apparatus of this kind could be oon- 
struoted ftur lee^ costly and oomplioated than 
the ordinary steam fire-engine. Mr. Bessemer 

UVINO AOK. YOL. XX. 898 



further suggests a thin steel mantlet in front of 
the machine, to protect it and the gunner fh)m 
the enemy's fire; *' universal motion ** for the 
delivery tube, which could be directed on all 
sides as easily as the jet of a fire-engine; and the 
combination of this system with that of the 
Edinburgh traction engine; which if fitted as a 
bullet-throwing machine would not only travel 
over the common road without horses, but would 
find its way over very rough ground, would 
convey stores of any kind to oUier machines, 
and, in addition to its own ftiel and water, 
would carry 100,000 bullets for its own use. 

Pall Mall Gazette. 



Three hundred bags of a remarkable-looking 
seed, new to British commerce, have recently 
been brought into this country as an oil seed; 
they were shipped from Lisbon to Liverpool, 
but are believed by the Liverpool merchants 
into whose hands they have been delivered to 
have come originally from the east coast of Af- 
rica. Mozambique is, in all probability, the 
port from whence they were first shipped, see- 
ing that they are the seeds of Telfairia pedata^ 
a tall climbing cucurbitaceous plant, native of 
the coast opposite Zanzibar. These seeds have 
somewhat the colour and appearance of almonds, 
but they are fiat, nearly circular, and about 
1 1-2 inches across; they are covered with a 
very closely reticulated net-work of woody fibre, 
and the kernel is about the colour and hardness 
of that of a Brazil nut and contains a large 
quantity of oil, which is probably intended for 
use in tiiis country as a culinary oil The ker- 
nels, however, are of a rank, bitter taste, 
though they are stated in books to be as sweet 
as almonda The fruit is very huge, and is said 
frequently to contain as many as 250 seeda Two 
species only are known of the genus, the one 
under conedderation and T, occidentalii, native 
of the opposite or West Coast of Africa. 

Nature. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



178 



LOUIS Xiy. AS A MATCHMAKER. 



ffoiii 
Con 



From Saint Pauls. 
LOUIS XIV. AS A MATCHMAKER. 

It is the year 1688, the forty-sixth year 
of the reign of Louis XIY., the fiftieth of 
his life, and the third of his marriage with 
Madame de Maintenon. The ''Grand 
Monarque *' has still twenty-six years to 
reien. He is still in the prime of his age, 
and of the glory and greatness of that 
wonderful court; a glory and greatness 
which were preparing the way for the ter- 
rible catastrophe which arrived, pede claudo, 
just about a hundred years later; — pre- 
paring for it, and causing it, just as surely 
and in due course of things as Apiril show- 
ers prepare for May flowers, " The war " 
in the Low Countries and on the Rhine is 
oing on of course. " The war in the Low 

ountries " is a part of the ordinary course 
of things. The gaUants of the court went 
to join the army at the spring opening of 
each campaign, much as men go to the 
grouse-shooting and deer-stalkmg when 
Uie London season is over. Everything is 
suspended during the unpleasant time of 
the year. The troops go mto winter quar- 
ters; and the courtier soldiers betake 
themselves with all speed back again to 
Versailles. 

A very wonderful court was that of the 
''Grand Monarque," at Versulles; and a 
very wonderful life was that which Louis 
XI V. had made for himself in the midst of 
it : — a court and a life of which writers 
may write almost ad infinitum, and readers 
may still read and find matter of interest 
in their reading. And the more one reads 
the more clearly one has brought home to 
one the fact that the great and main char- 
acteristic of that extraordinary pageant 
was its hoUowness, and the absolute cer^ 
tainty that the whole concern must, at no 
very distant day, collapse, and bury in its 
ruins alLthose whose lives were in it and 
of it. There is, probably, no period nor 
phase of social lire recorded bv history in 
which there was so much of falseness, — 
in which sham had so large and reality so 
small a share. 

And one curious result of this general 
element of false-seeming and lives passed 
among appearances and mere simulacra of 
things, is that what little scattered firag- 
ments of reality are to be descried among 
the appearances, took strange and distort- 
ed forms ; became eccentric, as it is called, 
as naturally enough they might where no 
centre of reality was, — seemed very incon- 
^enablement phenomenal to the phantasma- 
fforic world across which they dashed with 
damaging solidity ; while for us the record 
of them casts a variety of queer cross- 



lights on the motley galantee-show, and 
amuses us by the unexpectedness of efiects 
produced on the denizens of that piant- 
and-buckram life. 

Here is the record of one such isolated 
bit of hard and strong reality, and of the 
strange results it produced^ gathered 
mainly from the inexhaustible stores of 
that most industrious and prolific of noble 
authors, Saint-Simon. It will serve to 
show us some of the leading figures of the 
phantasmagoria in lights which probably 
will be new to most readers. 

"There are in most courts," says the 
veteran courtier-duke, "certain singular 
personages, who, without power of intelli- 
gence, without distinguished birth, with- 
out connections, and without meritorioua 
services, make their way into familiarity 
with all that is most bnlliant there, and 
force, one does not know how, all the 
world to count them for something." 

Whether Saint-Simon was the first to 
make this remark may be doubted; bat 
he unquestionably has not been the last. 
There nave been instances of similar "sin- 
gular personages" in more recent courts 
than that of Louis XIV^ who have given 
rise to similar observations by writers 
who had no idea of pla^arizing the re- 
marks of the old memoir writer. We 
have seen exactly the same things said of 
Beau Brummel ; and the reader's memory 
will probably suggest to him sundry 
others of whom they might with equal 
justice be said. And doubtless the re- 
mark, that the phenomenon is to be ex- 
plained by consiaerations yet more unfa- 
vourable to the great, whose weaknesses 
and follies make me success of such para- 
sites possible, than to the " singular per- 
sonages " themselves, is as fiur from being 
new. 

It would be doing injustice, however, to 
Louis d'Oger, Marquis de Cavoie, to place 
him altogether in the same category with 
Beau Brummel and his peers. The Duo 
de Saint-Simon ^Duc et Pair de Fnmce) 
from the magnificent height of his own 
sublime rank, which he is said to have 
worshipped with an intensity of self-rever- 
ence approaching to mania, may say of 
Cavoie that he was a man of " no birth ; " 
and as such probablv he was considered 
at Versailles. But tax away in distant 
Pioardy he was deemed a nobleman of 
andent lineage. He was* the Marquis 
Cavoie. And the fact, that Saint-Simon 
calls him a man sans naissance distingu^ 
throws a curiously instructive light on the 
notions of such matters that prevailed in 
the ooi*j:t of Versailles. It was by no 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LOUIS Xiy. AS A MATCHMAEBR. 



179 



means that his marqtdBate ooanted for 
nothinff. It rendered him the foUow-crea- 
tnre of the population of Versailles cour- 
tiers. It made many things possible for 
him which would, but for it, have been im- 
possible. It was possible for ^e king to 
speak to him, even in tete-brfite. It was 
possible to conceive the notion of his be- 



— in the seventeenth or the nineteenth 
century. He was one of the handsomest 
men of his time. And moreover, like 
that other ** singular personage," to whom 
the aptness of Saint-Simon's description 
tempted us to compare him somewhat un- 
justly, he was noted as being the best- 
dressed man about the court. Added to 



ing insulted, and of the necessity of ^ giv- ! this, he had a special reputation in an- 
ing him the satisfaction of a gentleman." other line, which perhaps was no less use- 
It was possible for him to hold a commis- ful to him. He was notorious as one of 
sion in the army. He was, in short, reallv the greatest duellists of the day ; and the 
looked upon by all the courtier world, [ renown which attached to this character 
from the king downwards, as a human be- 1 was not a little enhanced by the circum- 
ing having certain rights, and of the same i stance that all duelling was severely pro- 
species, at least, as themselves. All this | hibited by Loms XIV. His manv afiuurs 
was due to his marquisate, — his gentle of this sort had acquired for him the sobri- 



blood, 1^ we should sav. But naxssance 
distinpuee was quite anotner matter. 

It IS also rather curious to observe, that 
Saint-Simon calls this ''singular person- 
age" a man sans services. Now Cavoie 
had distinguished himself considerably in 
the wars, — "in the Low Countaries" of 
course, — so much so that he had gained 
the special regard of Turenne, and that 
upon one occasion, when it was erroneous- 
ly supposed that he had been killed, mi^- 
esty itself condescended to remark, on 
hearinsr it, " Ah, how sorry Turenne will 
be 1 " Clearly, according to our notions, it 
oould not have been said of this man that 
he had "seen no service." What could 
Saint-Simon have meant, then, when he 
said of him that he was sans services t He 
must have meant that the " singular per- 
sona^ " had never been honoured by any 
appomtment, — to stand behind the kind's 
chair; — to hand the royal shirt to the 

Soom of the chambers, who handed it to 
e first lord in waiting, who put it over 
the sacred shoulders, when miyesty donned 
itself; — to tell the gold stick to tell the 
silver stick to tell the usher to tell the 
page to tell the valet to tell the cook that 
dinner might be served ; or, in short, any 
of those ** charges " about the royal person 
or household which really did ennoble a 
man, and give him some claims on the 
country. These were the " services " 
which Cavoie had not rendered, and the 
absence of which made it so strange that 
be should have pushed his fortunes at 
court That he should have been knocked 
about, and risked life and limb away down 
in the Low Countries, was very Uttle to 
the purpose. 

One recommendation, however, Cavoie 
had, which his want of distingruished birth 
and want of services could not deprive 
him of, — a recommendation which is 
equaUy available in the court or the camp, 



quet of " Le Brave Cavoie, — a distinction 
which his really gallant conduct " in the 
Low Countries" would never have suf- 
ficed to obtain for him. He was withal, as 
Saint-Simon, whose testimony on such a 
point was worth having, assures us, a 
thoroughly upri^t, honourable, and hon- 
est man; — which made his success at 
court all the more singular and unac- 
countable. 

He did not remain to the end of his ca- 
reer " without service," for he was at last 
made "Grand Mar^chal des Logis de la 
Maison du Boi;" and "the romance 
which was the means of obtaining this ap- 
pointment for him," says Saint-Simon, 
" deserves not to be forgotten." 

There was in those same davs at the 
court of Versailles a certain Mademoiselle 
de Coetlogon, in the capacity of one of the 
maids of honour of the Queen Marie 
Th^r^se. She was a Breton, as is evident 
firom her name, and belonged to a noble 
fEunily, which, like so many others of that 
sea-bound province, had distinguished it- 
self in the naval service. Now this poor 
Bretonne old maid seems to have been a 
sort of butt at the court. She was very 
plain; and what naturally added to the 
absuidity of her position and character, 
she was known and admitted to be tho]> 
oughly discreet and virtuous. Further, 
she was, as Saint-Simon testifies, simple- 
minded, very good-natured, and, though 
not a little laughed at, reaUy much liked 
aufond. 

It can hardly be doubted- that poor 
Coetlogon, as they called her, was some- 
what out of place at Versailles. Ftobablr 
her povertT made aooeptable to her a li& 
whidi, wita the exception of a nunnery, 
was pretty well the only amoenable one 
that a penniless and iktherlesa noble girl 
could find. Brittany is a very poor prov- 
ince; its nobles are for the most part 



Digitized by 



Googk 



18a 



LOUIS XIY. AS A MATCHMAKER. 



equallv so. Nor are they a coartly race. day. The courtiers, male and female, 
Probably they are less fitted for such an I laughed till they cried again at the 



atmosphere as that of Versailles than the 
people of any other of the proyinces of 
France. They are a haughty, retiring, 
very headstrong and tenacious race, whose 
pride has more of shyness and less of 
vanity in it than French pride usually has. 
They are, moreover, a more imaginative 
and more poetical people than the French 
of other provinces, especially of the south, 
are, — mr more likely to become dominated 
by some ruling idea or master-passion, and 
to hold it with unalterable buU-dog perti- 
nacity to the death. 

It is easy to picture to ourselves the 
poor Bretonne maid of honour amid that 
brilliant crowd of^ for the most JP&it, 
utterly worthless men and women, sti^ un- 
gainly, proud, shy, virtuous, obfttinate, 
hard-mouthed, the universal butt, yet liked 
for her genuine simplicity and good-nature. 
Easy to picture that to ourselves, and not 
difficult to imagine the intensity of the 
amusement and delight at the court when 
it was known that '' La Coetloffon " had 
fallen desperatelv, irremediabfy, hopelessly 
in love with the brilliant Cavoie I 

Though infinitely magnificent, it was im- 
possible for inmates not to feel and admit 
that the court of the Grand Monarque was 
a rather dull one. And it was rare that 
the intensely reflated monotony of their 
lives was diversified by such a bit of fun as 
poor Coetlogon's grande pctssion. It was a 
veritable ffodsend; and, before the play 
was played out, produced some scenes the 
like of which haa never been seen before, 
or was likely to be seen again, in those lat- 
itudes. 

Coetlogon's pride was not of that nature 
which constrained her to let concealment 
feed on her patched and painted cheek. 
She gloried in her passion, and in nowise 
attempted to conceal it either from the 
object of it or from any one else. '* She 
made," savs Saint-Simon, <<all the ad- 
vances on her side. Cavoie was cruel, and 
sometimes even brutaL He was, in truth, 
bored to death by the unhappy lady's love 
for him." Coetlogon's unquenchable ado- 
ration and Cavoie's cruelty became the 
talk of the whole court. It was an inex- 
haustible source of amusement to watch 
the ways and manners of both the lady 
and the gentlemen — her coquetries, her 
timid but avowed adoration, ner deq[>air; 
— his annoyance, his attempts to escape, his 
consciousness of ridicule. 

So delightfiiUy amusing a comedy had 
not been presented on those for the most 
part desperately dreary boards for many a 



t/)^e/iui^^of the poor Bretonne lady's love. 
But on the whole the general feeling seems 
to have been that Cavoie was very ill-na- 
tured not to respond to so strong and so 
constant a passion. Why should he not 
marry her, since she desired it so very 
much? She was of gentle blood. There 
could be no really good reason for refus- 
ing to gratify the poor thing. Why should 
he not marrv her r 

At last the chattering, mingled with 
gufiO&ws, became so loud, that it was im- 
possible for the king and queen not to be- 
come aware of what was going on. Mry- 
esty laughed, like all the rest of the world. 
And it was a grand thing at Versailles, — 
a benefit for which all the court world 
were thankful, — when anything occurred, 
or could be invented, which could move 
majesty to laughter. Few human beings 
probably have ever passed so manv min- 
utes in wishing that the hour for the set- 
tinff of the sun were come as did Louis 
XIV. Few such desperately dreary and 
weary lives have been led, it may be hoped, 
in this sublunary world. And anything 
that could amuse the monarch for a pass- 
ing minute was a benefit to all those 
around him. Majesty was amused' at the 
Coetlogon loves, and at the insensibility of 
the loved one. Mt^esty also, like all the rest 
of the world, seems to have thought that 
the case was a hard one. Mentem morta- 
lia tangunt I even beneath all the superin- 
cumbent masses of horsehair and embroid- 
ered wrappages that make up the eidolon 
of a Grand Monarque. 

Both the kins and the queen conde- 
scended to tell Cavoie that he was cruel ; 
that he ought to take pity upon poor 
Coetlogon, and not refuse her so small a 
matter as marriage, since she had set her 
heart upon it. 

Cavoie, however, could not ouite see it. 
Of course it was a very grand and grat- 
ifying thing that majesty should conde- 
scend to have and to express a wish as to 
such a matter as his — Cavoie's — domes- 
tic arrangements. But majesty had, upon 
more than one former occasion dropped 
vague but benevolent hints as to the pur- 
pose x>f doing something for the definitive 
settlement of the Cavoie fortunes on a 
footing somewhat more in fitting accord- 
ance with the personal position occupied 
by the handsome courtier at Versailles 
than that on which they at present stood ; 
and — nothing had yet come of such be- 
nevolent but ^ too vague phrases. And 
then to marry the Coetlogon! Pardil a 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LOUIS Xiy. AS A MATCHMAKBR. 



181 



kike was a joke. But surely that would 
be carryinff even a regal joke too far. 
And yet all the court, with a malicious 
laughter in their eyes, pretended to take 
the thing ctu grand s&teux; pretended to 
be waiting on the tiptoe of expectation for 
Cavoie's obedient compliance with the 
wish which m^esty had condescended to 
express. And there was the Coetlogon 
herself tempering her grim rigidity with 
languishing airs, more gushing with adora- 
tion than ever, and evidently expectant. 

Cavoie felt that the situation was be- 
coming intolerable — impossible. Once or 
twice he strove to screw nis courage to the 
sticking place, and make the plunge required 
of him. But each time, like a horse that re- 
fuses a leap, he started awayfrom the bar 
when he came close to it. What was he to 
do ? Something he absolutely must do ; and, 
yielding to this necessity, he one day sud- 
denly made up his mind to abandon Ver- 
sailles — to take his last look at the sun 
and at life, and — go off to the war in the 
Low Countries. 

This, of course, it was at all times open 
to such a cavalier as Cavoie to do. It was 
an undeniably proper thing for any gen- 
tleman to do. Nothing could be said 
against it. And Cavoie did not ^love and 
ride away," but rode away because he 
could not love as bidden. 

At first this was rather a disappoint- 
ment for the court. It was feared that 
the delightful comedy, which had amused 
them so long, was at an end. But the 
curtain had not dropped yet. The piece 
became a monologue; but it was soon 
found that it was by no means less amus- 
ing than before. Tlie Coetlogon, now the 
sole performer, still kept the entire court 
(royalties included, benind their fans and 
in their sleeves) constantly in gufibws of 
laughter. She assumed deep mourning, 
and, despite all courtly etiauette, abso- 
lutely renised to wear anv otner dress as 
long as Cavoie should be absent. She 
pined, she wept, she screamed! Despite 
all the ridicule which all the malice and all 
the wit at Versailles could pour out upon 
her, she ffloried in manifesting the con- 
stancy of her hopeless love by every possi- 
ble means by which it could be mani- 
fested. 

But at length winter approached, and 
the campaign was at an ena Not that the 
war was over by any means. But in those 
days soldiers, as well as other people, took 
their time, and did things comfortably. 
Nobodv thought of fighting in bad weath- 
er. The troops went into winter quarters, 
and all the jeunesse dorde rodo home, to 



enjoy themselves at Paris and Versailles 
till the opening of the next campaign. 
And Cavoie came back with the rest, hop- 
ing, no doubt, that ''La Coetlogon" had 
by this time fallen in love with somebody 
else. But he was destined to be very 
quickly undeceived. Immediately on his 
return to court the Coetlogon burst forth 
into colours, like a rose in Mayl The 
winter of her discontent was suddenly 
made glorious summer by the advent of 
her divinity. She seemed to burgeon into 
life again as the rays of his presence fell 
upon her. She instantly assumed her old 
aurs of adoration. And the king and the 
queen, and the maids of honour, and all 
tne world of goldsticks laughed again till 
the tears came into their eyes. 

Cavoie was in despair at this miraculous 
phenomenon of faithful and undying affec- 
tion. He began to have a dreadful feeling 
that there was no escape — no remedy; 
that the thin^ would pursue him and stick 
to him for Bfe. And he dreaded from 
hour to hour that miyesty would again 
take the matter in hand, and bid him have 
mercy upon his worshipper. 

While things were in this position, 
shortly after the beginning of the winter, a 
circumstance occurred which at all events 
for a time operated as a diversion. Cavoie 
was concerned in a duel, and was sent to 
the Bastille. At all events there was no 
Coetlogon there; and Cavoie began to 
think that he had at last found the only 
haven of refuge that was left to him. 

Thereupon, poor faithful Coetloeon falls 
into renewed aespair, and the whole court 
into renewed ecstasies and delight. Ajsain ' 
every vestige o# colour disappears from 
the toilette of the unhappy Bretonne, and 
she wanders through the halls of Ver- 
sailles, among the loud and bedizened 
crowdiB, wan, woe-begone, and clad in 
weeds of deepest mourning. 

In this guise she throws herself at the 
king's feet, and implores his mercy for her 
adored Cavoie; entreats that he may be 
restored to Versailles and to her. But 
Louis shook his magnificent and peruked 
head as gravely as he could, and told her 
that it was impossible that he could inter- 
fere with the course of justice. He knew 
very well that if his own decrees were 
meant to be observed, Cavoie would have 
forfeited his head; and equ^y well that 
after a certain period of detention he 
would come out of the Bastille, and reap- 
pear in his place at court in nowise the 
worse for his imprisonment. But it would 
never have done to admit that the doors 
of the Bastille could be opened to satisfy 



Digitized by 



Googk 



182 



LOUIS XIY. AS A MATCHMAKER. 



the caprice of a love-eick maid of hon- 
our. 

Bat the indignation of La Coetloson 
against the king was extreme and alto- 
gether outspoken. And here again was a 
Shenomenon utterly new and exceedingly 
iverting to the courtier-world of \^r- 
sailles. It could hardly occur that any mere 
human creature in that wonderful world 
should presume, even in the secret of his 
own heart, to blame the Grand Monarque 
himself — to find fault with the sun of the 
system, which alone maintained all that 
singular orrery in its due order «- and 
much, very much less, should openly avow 
so preposterous and dreadful a sentiment. 
But La Coetlogon, in the extremity of her 
grief^ lifted up her voice, and spared not. 
There was nothing she did not say, and 
say aloud, of the king's barbarity and 
hardness of heart. 

When the king dined or supped, as he 
generally did, in public with the queen, it 
was the dut^ of the Duchess de Bichelieu 
and the maids of honour of the queen to 
wait on him at table. But during all the 
time that Cavoie was at the Bastille, La 
Coetlogon absolutely refused to perform 
any act of this portion of her duty. She 
avoided handing anything to the king as 
long as she could contrive to do so ; and 
when such management would avail her 
no loneer, she pliunly and utterly refused 
to perform the slightest service for the 
king, saying that he did not deserve to be 
waited upon I 

Then she got the jaundice — the va- 
pours t She gave herself up to despair ; 
and became in all seriousness so ill, that 
the kinff and the queen begged ihh Duch- 
ess de Kichelieu to take her to see Cavoie 
at the Bastille. '<And this," says Saint- 
Simon, ^was done two or three times.*^ 
With what result on the lady — or on the 
gentleman, who, one might imagine, was 
entitled to consider it a decided^ uncon- 
stitutional aggravation of his punishment 
— we are not told. But if it is hardly to 
be supposed that Louis earned much grati- 
tude from Cavoie for his kindness in thus 
facilitating an interview between him and 
the woman who adored him, neither does 
he seem to have gained, as might have 
been supposed, the thanks of the lady. 
For, when she essayed a second time to in- 
duce the king to put an end to her hero's 
captivity, and his msyesty was so cruel as 
to burst out laughing. La Coetlogon was 
so outraged that *^she showed her nails 
to the kmg, to which his mtyesty deemed 
it prudent not to expose himself." * 

* '* SU« lol proienta set onglet, ftuzqiiflllei le rol 



It was the mode at the time for the 
courtiers to go and visit Cavoie in his 
prison, and of coarse all that passed at 
the court was duly recounted to him. So 
that it ma^ perhaps be doubted whether, 
when the time at length came for his re- 
lease, he considered his return to the coait 
wholly in the light of a pleasure. 

To poor Coetlogon, however, his reap- 
pearance gave new life t Once again the 
mourning was laid a&ide, and she appeared 
to the delighted courtiers dressed in all 
her best I It was some time, however, 
Saint-Simon says, before she would make 
it up with the king. 

At last, ** pity and the death of M. de 
Froulay, Grand Marshal des Logis, came 
to her assistance," says M. de Saint-Simon. 
And the help came in this wise :«- The 
place thus vacated was one that would ex- 
actly si^t the wishes and pretensions of 
Cavoie. The king sent for him ; and did 
not this time, as on a former occasion, 
content himself with advising and exhort- 
ing, but roundly expressed his will that he, 
Cavoie, should marry Madile. de Coetlo- 
gon; adding that on this condition his 
majesty would charge himself with the 
cars of M. de Cavoie's fortunes, and would 
begin that care by at once appointing him 
to the vacant post of Grand Ma^Schal 
des Logis. 

" Cavoie," says Saint-Simon, ^'renifla en- 
core, mais il y fallut passer." He sniffed 
at it still, but it had to be done. And it 
was done ! Nor does La Coetlogon ap- 
pear to have suffered from an instant of 
misgiving or trouble as to the mode in 
which her object was attained. But by 
far the strangest part of the story is, that 
Cavoie made her a very good husbaml — 
as husbands went in those days and 
places ! And Saint-Simon assures us thi^ 
the union did not by any means put an 
end to all the diversion which the relations 
between the brilliant courtier and his 
adoring Bretonne had so long afforded 
them. For '*it was the best fun in the 
world to see the caresses with which she 
loaded him before all the world, and la 

Cvitd importunie Tthe grave air of being 
ed) with which he received them." 
Nevertheless, the strangely-assorted couple 
lived, as it would seem, well together. 
The happy wife, we are told, retained her 
feeling of adoration for her idol to the 
last. And Saint-Simon winds up his nar- 
ration of the affsdr by remarking that it 
was worth recording ** by reason of its 
assuredly unexampled singularity; /or," 

oomprit qu'fl 6teit plas Mffe de ne pat t'expoter."— 
aaiMi'Simon, 



Digitized by 



Googk 



THE ARTS OF DESTRUCTION, 



188 



adds the cbronicler, never was the "virtue 
of Madame de Cavoie, either before or 
after her marriage, subject to the slightest 
breath of suspicion." 

So that, alter all, the Grand Monarque 
may be held to have succeeded better 
in his character of a matchmaker than he 
did in some other of the roles he at- 
tempted. 



From The Pall Mall Gantte. 
THE AKTS OP DESTRUCTION. 

The Middle Age Italian stories of deadly 
poisons manufactured by ancient men in 
f^asB masks, and of ladies destroying their 
rivals by the perfum*e of a fan, a nosegay, 
or a pair of gloves, have often been re- 
garded as mere exag^rations, the fruit of 
a panic occasioned by a large addition 
made to the number of known poisons in 
the first age of modern chemical discovery. 
But we believe that this incredulity is not 
shared by all the great chemists of our day. 
They say that if chemical research, instead 
of being guided by the wish to penetrate 
the secrets of the natural world, or to find 
out remedies for disease, or even to hit 
upon the phQosopher's stone, were directed 
solely by the ambition to effect the subUe 
destruction of human life, there is no rea- 
son why, if not among solids and fluids, at 
least among vapours, it miffht not easily 
find the means of doins all that the Italian 
poisoners are said to nave done. Fortu- 
nately for the human race, poisoning has 
never been viewed with more than very 
moderate approval. Whatever were the 
faults of the mediaeval Italian States, they 
certainly went near to stamping out this 
particular crime. The fears and hesitations 
of the Apothecary in ^ Romeo and Juliet *^ 
are among the last traces of a contest in 
which the law had the best of it. 

The next fifty years will apparently be a 
period during which the skill, patience, and 
wealth whicn hitherto have been mainly 
devoted to developing the arts of peace 
will be applied by the most civilized races 
of the world to in^roving the arts of de- 
struction. As this process will be carried 
on not amid the execrations but amid the 
applause and interest of mankind, it is im- 
possible that we should not ask ourselves 
what may be expected from it. Its com- 
mencement, it should be remembered, is 
extremely recent. The last half-century 
has by no means been distinguished bv 
sustained attention to this special branch 
of art. During more than thirty years of 



it the chief European nations declined 
rather than otherwise in knowledge of the 
practice and appliances of war, and even 
those who appeared to have become 
stronger for military purposes owed their 
strength, like Prussia, to the mere multi- 
plication of men and guns in their stand- 
ing armies. But a new era began with the 
Crimean war, and it is startling to think 
what has been accomplished since the men 
of the nineteenth century began to give 
themselves up with real earnestness, though 
at present doubtless with what will soon 
appear to have been merely infantine clum- 
smess, to the invention and improvement 
of mechanical contrivances for wholesale 
slaughter. The identity of national name 
in the men who fought the battle of Jena 
and in those who fought the battle of 
Gravelotte blinds us to the fact that they 
belong to different military eras; but a 
gulf separates war waged with muskets 
and round shot frx>m war conducted with 
breechloaders, conical bullets, mitrailleurs, 
rifled cannon, and shell. We are told by 
some, it is true, that the proportion of 
killed and wounded to the whole force em- 
^oyed is not greater than it used to be. 
The calculation may be suspected of fal- 
lacy, as not takinff into account the pecu- 
liar composition of modem armies ; but, at 
all events, it is not to the point — for the 
question is not. Where are we ? but. What 
are we coining to ? The treasures of destruo- 
tion lurking in nature and capable of be- 
ing disinterred by the hand of man would 
appear to be practically infinite. Look- 
ing to one branch alone in this class of dis- 
coveries, we find that gunpowder, which 
was supposed to be unique in its proper- 
ties, belongs to a whole family oi sister 
compounds, each more explosive and deadly 
than the other. One cannot reflect on the 
transformation which harmless substances 
have undergone without recalling Jack 
Cade's lamentation that the skin of an in- 
nocent lamb, being scribbled over, should 
undo a man. Cotton, which furnished their 
evangel to the apostles and stipendiary 
preachers of the Anti-Corn Law League 
— cotton, the spinning of which was to be 
the principal occupation of the blessed dur- 
ing the Manchester millennium — cotton, 
bemg dipped in certain useful acids, turned 
out to be so explosive that its very destruo- 
tiveness prevented Jts being freely em- 
ployed; but now, by a process which looks 
like a cruel parody on the manufacture of 
paper, the limitations on its fatal useful- 
ness may be removed, althoush by a dis- 
tinction quite immaterial to we happiness 
of mankind it must now be exploded by 



Digitized by 



Googk 



184 



WEEDS. 



the tap of a hammer, whereas it once went 
off with a spark. Jn fact, the future of 
Europe would appear to be a future of ful- 
minates. Can anything save us from this ? 
Is it possible we may be saved by the very 
thorouffhness of the. facilities for universal 
homicide? In the dramatic piece recom- 
mended by Mr. Sneer to Mr. Dangle, it was 
intended by the mere force of humour to 
make houseoreaking so ridiculous that bolts 
and bars would l^ shortly useless; and 
the late Mr. Douglas Jerrold seems cer^ 
tainly to have supposed that by the help 
of a thin and acid wit he could make war 
too absurd for men ever to fight again. 
For our part, we think that if war ever 
becomes ridiculous it will be through the 
scientific form of humour called the reductio 
ad absurdum. Suppose (what at present 
seems perfectly possible) naval engage- 
ments were to begin with the simultaneous 
foundering of hm of each fleet through 
the explosion of torpedoes movable or im- 
movable. Suppose the greatest part of 
each of two contending armies were, on 
the firing of the first ^ot, instantly to suc- 
cumb to a shower of deadly hail ; or, again, 
suppose war to resolve itself into a system 
of perpetual dodging into harbours or be- 
hind fortresses. Would the human race 
be suddenly overcome by a sense of the 
ludicrous, and the great tribunal of war 
break up amid a general laugh ? 

One thing in war has been placed at least 
beyond doubt. It is an industry, like any 
other industry, capable of improvement or 
retrogression under precisely the same con- 
ditions. Mankind have outhved many illu- 
sions on the subject. Once they thought 
ike issues of war were so tremendous that 
they must be specially determined by the 
Deity, and the doctrine is written both in 
the Old Testament and on the Moaknte 
Stone. But the apothegm which was cmoe 
held to be the very quintessence of cynicism, 
that the Divine favour ffoes with the big 
battalions, is shown by the present war to 
be a literal statement of a commonplace 
truth. Again, it was part of the popular 
creed about war, and doubtless still is to a 
great extent, that victories are won by per- 
sonal valour. The Grermans are supposed 
by some to have beaten the French not 
only because they had the better miUtary 
mechanism but because they were braver 
men. There can be no completer analogy 
than between the great military epochs of 
war and the industrial epochs marked by 

S'eat exhibitions or expositions. The ex- 
bition of 1851 showed that the English 
manufacturers were very inferior to the 
French in certain branches of production. 



These manufacturers passed the next ten 
years with the stimulus of defeat goading 
them, and at the exhibition in 1862 the^ 
proved to have distanced their French ri- 
vals, who had suffered from the lassitude 
of conscious superiority. But yet a third 
trial occurred at the raris Exposition of 
1867, and it appeared that the French had 
very nearly made up their lost ground, and 
that the once successful English were on 
the point of again being left behind. 
In a precisely similar way, victory is suc- 
ceeded by inertness in war, and defeat pro- 
duces ambitious effort. Frederick the 
Great, the progressive practitioner of war 
in his day beats the French at Rosbach. 
Napoleon, the great military inventor of 
the next age, wins <fena against men who 
were walking in the old paths under the 
old laurels. And now Moltke, applying 
the accumulated results of the thought, 
toil, and skill of the Prussian military caste, 
crushes an entire army under the nephew 
of Napoleon, which was not only sleepy 
after its triumphs in the last neat war, but 
had been specially debilitated bv the mod- 
em art of puff. Praying for military suo- 
cess stands therefore on pretty much the 
same footing as praying for the discovery 
of a new mordant or a new ingredient to 
improve the translucency of glass. Mere 
muscle and mere courage are graduallv 
becoming about as useful as the strength 
and vigour of a railway navigator in the 
operative of a cotton factory. But brain, 
money, and numbers, with the forces of 
nature to help them, are giving each nation 
in turn the power of tearing, the others to * 
pieces. 



From All the Tear Bound. 
WEEDS. 

Where weeds come from it is not always 
easy to tell. Just as we have in our gar- 
dens plants of which the native country is 
uncertain T— of which the white lily, mig- 
nonette, walnut, and horse-chestnut are 
familiar examples — so, many of our com^ 
monest weeds are unknown in a state re-, 
moved from cultivation. In illustration of 
this, we need only name the groundsel and 
shepherd's purse, of which Dr. Hooker says 
that in his many travels he has never seen 
either of them established where the soil 
was undisturbed, or where, if undisturbed, 
they had not obviously been brought by 
man or the lower animals. Besides these, 
we may include in our list the greater nom- 
ber, if not all, of the large class of plants 



Digitized by 



Googk 



WEEDS. 



185 



which Mr. Watson terms *< colonists" — 
such as poppies, cockle, fumitoiT, red net- 
tle, and a host of cornfield weeds — which 
owe their introduction to the hand of man, 
are not found beyond cultivation, and, if 
the country could laj^ to its original state, 
-would in all probability entirely disappear. 
At first sight it is difficult to realize that 
plants, which we have been accustomed to 
see growing far and wide throughout the 
len^h and breadth of the land, should be 
reckoned otherwise than among the original 
inhabitants of it ; and it is only by notic- 
ing the changes in yegetation whidi culti- 
Tation has wrought in other countries 
within the memory of man, that we are 
enabled to understand what has occurred 
in our own. A brief glance at the histoiy 
of American weeds wul tend to make this 
plain, and, at the same time, present some 
interesting details. 

As far oack as 1672, in a curious little 
volume called New England's Rarities, we 
have a list of twenty-two plants which the 
author considered had ** sprung up since 
the English planted and kept cattle m New 
England ; " oesides several others, referred 
to in other parts of the book, which owe 
their origin to the same cause. Among 
them he mentions the plantain, *^ which the 
Indians call Englishman's foot, as though 
produced b^ their treading." This is one 
of the sp^ies which always accompanies 
cultivation. Independently of these casual 
introductions, we have records of plants 
which have been introduced to America 
either for ornament or use, or by accident, 
and have not only thoroughly established 
themselves, but have become noxious 
weeds, and serious hindrances 'to agricul- 
ture. For an example of the first class, 
we may refer to the common yellow toad- 
flax, which was originally introduced to the 
United States as a garden flower by a Mr. 
Banstead, a Welsh resident in Philadelphia, 
from whom it has taken the name of Kan- 
Btead-weed. The following account of the 
position it had attained in Pennsylvania, as 
long ago as 1758, will show to what an ex- 
tent it had even then spread. ^ It is the 
most hurtful plant to our pastures that can 
grow in our northern climate. Neither 
the spade, plough, nor hoe can eradicate it 
when it is spreiul in a pasture. Every Lit- 
tle fibre that is left will soon increase pro- 
digiously; nay, some people have rolled 
great heaps of logs upon it, and burnt them 
to adies, whereby the earth waabomt half 
a foot deep, yet it put up again as fresh as 
ever, covering the ground so close as not to 
let any grass grow amongst it ; and the 
cattle can't abide it. Bat it doth not in- 



jure com 80 much as grass, because the 
plough cuts off the staJ&s, and it doth not 
grow so high before harvest as to choke the 
com. It is now spread over a great part 
of the inhabited parts of Pennsylvania. It 
was first introduced as a fine garden flow- 
er, but never was a plant more heartily 
cursed by those that suffer from its en- 
croachments." 

It is worthy of note that in our own 
country, where it is native, this toad-flax is 
almost entirely restricted to hedge-banks 
and borders of fields, and seldom, if ever, 
becomes a troublesome weed. Our com- 
mon chickweed, which was introduced into 
Carolina as food for canary-birds, spread in 
ten years upwards of fifty miles, and 
is now one of the plants which occupy the 
outposts of civilization. As an accidental 
introduction, we may name the Scottish 
thistle, which is said to have been brought 
to America bv a Scottish minister, who 
brought with him a bed stuffed with this- 
tle-down, in which some seed still remained. 
Feathers being plentiful, the down was 
soon turned out, and the former were sub- 
stituted, and the seed, coming up, filled 
that part of the country with thistles. 
Another account tells us that the thistle was 
introduced by some enthusiastic Scot, anx- 
ious to bear with him the emblem of his 
country, which soon made itself at home, 
and became a nuisance. At the present 
day, it is an actionable offence in New Zear 
land to allow thistles to grow or to mn to 
seed; and a case was lately reported in 
which action was taken against a landed 
proprietor who had not taken sufficient 
precaution to prevent their prowth, the 
verdict being given for the plaintiff. 

In 1837, one hundred and thirty-seven 
weeds, nearly all of them English, were 
more or less established in the United 
States ;, and now no less than two hundred 
and fourteen, similarly introduced, are 
enumerated by Dr. Asa Gray as occurring 
there. This will give an idea of the rap- 
idity with which ^ese introductions take 
place. It is not now our purpose to pur- 
sue the subject ftlrthcr, or we might pro- 
duce examples, still more strikins, of the 
spread of mtroduced weeds in Australia 
and New Zealand. 

In conclusion, just a word may be said 
on the rapidity with which weeds increase. 
We are familiar with the proverb which 
tells us that ^^ill weeds grow apace ; " but 
we scarcely realize, perhaps, now enor- 
mously they multiply: "the worst of 
creatures fastest propagate." When we 
know that a single plant of groundsel may 
produce one hundred and thirty flowers. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



186 



LIFE OF MADAME BAAUHABNAIS DB MIRAMION. 



each in turn developing fifty seeds; of 
chickweed, five hundred lowers, each with 
ten seeds; and of shepherd's purse, one 
hundred and fifty fiowers, each having 
thirty seeds, and that there might, without 
difficulty, be four or five crops of each of 
these during the year, we may see how true 
it is that *^ one year's seeding makes seven 
years' weeding." Nor are these annual 
weeds the only ones which thus increase : 
a single plant of the creeping buttercup 
will cover a circumference of thirty feet, 
having no less than sixty-nine rooting 
scions radiating from the central shoot; 
and each of its many flowers is capable of 
ripening as many as twenty-five seeds. 



From The Speotator. 
LIF£ OF MADAME BEAUHAKNAIS D£ 
MIBAMION.* 

It is always an interesting task to rescue 
a worthy human life from oblivion, and 
though the biography of Madame de 
Miramion is essentially religious, and is 
introduced to the English public under the 
auspices of Lady Herbert of Lea, the gen- 
eral reader will find it contains cunous 
historical pickings, and that the lady of 
whom it treats was worthy of long remem- 
brance, — a soft brown or purple tint in 
the brilliant mosaic of the society of the 
Grand Sikcle. 

Mademoiselle Bonneau de RubeUe was 
bom in Paris in 1629: She belonged to 
the noblesse de la robe, her fiither being 
King's councillor and secretary, and she 
was idl her life intimately mixed up with 
the higher magistrature. Those were 
days when the legal and judicial bodies 
formed a solid part of the organization of 
the State. It is so still in England, but 
the student of French history knows only 
too well that the Bar and the Bench have 
suffered in importance and coherence by 
the same causes which have broken down 
the territorial noblesse and the authority 
of the throne: It is to belioped that the Re- 
public of the future, while opening a free 
career to talent, may not fail in producing 
men worthy to rank with IKAguesseau, 
Malesherbes, or Berryer, — men like our 
own Erskine or Brougham, of more than 
national renown. 

Madame de RubeUe died when her 
young daughter was only nine years old ; 
and her widowed husband went to live 



• The Life qf McuUnne BeoMhmnMisde Mircmioii, 
London: BenUqr* 



with his brother, M. Bonneau, in a great 
house in the Marais, then the fashionable 
quarter of Paris. This brother was Sieor 
ae Plessis, but seems to have kept to his 
plain/amily name. He entertained a great 
deal of company, being himself secretary 
and privy councillor to the King, Louis 
Xm. It was a most brilliant epoch at 
Paris. The celebrated Hdtel de Rambooil- 
letwasin full vogue. M. de Lamoignoo, 
another notability of the magistrature, 
and Madame de la Sabli^re, La Fontaine's 
firiend, were receiving the best company 
in their salons. ComeiUe was giving his 
ffreat tragedies at the theatre ofthe Hdtel 
de Bourgoyne, and it was said, '* Tout Paris 
pour Cmm^ne a les yeux de Rodrigue." 
So great was the sensation exdted by the 

ad. 

We know verv little about Mademoiselle 
de Rubelle's childhood, except that die 
once went to the inland waters of Forges, 
in Normandy, with her fashionable aunt. 
They went by short stages in their private 
ooach, accompanied by a number of men- 
servants on horsebaclL, stopping at St Grer- 
main, Mantes, and Rouen. Wonderfol 
family cavalcades went lumbering along 
the rutty roads or over the terrible pav^ 
of those days. The Prussians have Utely 
been descnbed as ploughing their way 
with the greatest difficufiy over the royal 
road between St Germain and 'Versailles, 
the pav^ having been dislodged in ^e cen- 
tre, for their especial benefit, by the defend^ 
ers of Paris. That pav^ with its broad 
sandy sides, is a rehc of the days when 
Mademoiselle de Rubelle went to drink 
the waters of Forges in her aunt's private 
coach. 

At fifteen years of age she was presented 
at Court ; in the Ch&teau de Marsay, in 
Poitou, which belongs to a descendant of 
her brother's, is a portrait representing her 
in the glow of youth and beauty. She 
was tall, plump, had blue eyes, an aquiline 
nose, and a profusion of nut-brown hair 
curling in natural ringlets. Add to these 
advantages a very hi^ge fortune, said to 
amount to £112,000, and it may be im- 
agined that this young lady did not want 
for suitors. 

Now, at the old church of St. Nicholas 
des Champs, once buried in the thickest 
part of Paris, but now accessible bv the 
Boulevard de Sebastopol, Mademoiselle de 
Rubelle, who was exbeedin^ly devout, had 
remarked one M. de Miramion, in constant 
attendance upon his mother. ^ Therefore, 
when amonff the suitors proposed to her 
by her family she heard the name of M. de 
Miramion^ her blushes discovered to every 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LIFB OF MADAME BJSAUHARNAIS DB MIRAMION. 



187 



one the peraon whom her heart had 
chosen." And she was but sixteen when, in 
1645, she married Jean Jacques de Beauhar- 
nais. Lord of Miramion, Counsellor to the 
Paris Parliament, onl^ son of a Councillor 
of State and of the high and mighty Lady 
Marguerite de Choisy. The bridegroom 
was not Quite twenty-seven years of age ; 
<* he was nandsome, well made, of a charm- 
ing character, and with a fortune equal to 
that of his wife." The two young people 
went in French fashion to live in the 
house of M. de Miramion's grandfather, M. 
de Choisy, who had long l^en the firiend 
as well as the counsellor of the reignine 
king, and of his great father, Henry I^ 
M. ae Choisy liyed with his aged wife in a 
magnificent mansion situated at the cor- 
ner of the Rue du Temple and of the Rue 
l^chel le Comte. We give the Jocalities, 
as marking the immense difference in the 
quarters of the town inhabited 200 years 
ago. Grand old houses may be still seen 
in the Rue du Temple, sunk to the level 
of our Soho. Here, amidst aunts, uncles, 
and cousins, lived the newl^r-married pair 
for some happy months, ^' united in a holy 
affection, full of humility and purity be- 
fore Grod, of charity and goodwill towards 
men, and of love to each other, but of a 
love which drew them both nearer to 
God, they seemed to realize the charming 
picture which the great Catholic poet 
i)ante has drawn of a heavenly marriage." 
Six months thus passed, when the 
young husband was seized with one of 
those violent fevers so fatal when treated 
according to the medical theories of the 
seventeenth century. We do not hear 
whether he was bled, or starved, or medi- 
dned beyond power of recovery ; but the 
strong man died in the flower of his age, 
and his youngwidow fell fainting upon his 
dead body. Her mother-in-law roused her 
into a cold, weak, half-conscious state, and 
h^nHing her a potion, said, ** Drink, for 
your child's si^e." She drank and lived, 
though it is sufficiently astonishing that 
she <ud survive ; for we are told that the 
doctors bled her nine times before the 
birth of the poor little babe. It was a 
daughter, andlived to become the wife of 
the President de Nesmonde. There is a 
portrait of her, taken before her marriage, 
still extant. She is sitting, and holding 
on her knees a little pet dog; she is 
dressed in white silk, and wears magnifi- 
cent pearls. This poor little plank saved 
out of so great a shipwreck was very 
merry and sensible, and when Madame de 
Miramion's time came to die she expired 
in her daughter's arms. 



But we are not come to the end of 
the more romantic period of Madame de 
Miramion's life. Many efforts were made 
to induce her to renounce her widowhood. 
Her husband's cousin and her own inti- 
mate Mend, M. de Caumartin, tried hard 
to get her to accept him ; but though such 
a union would not have removed her from 
the beloved feunily circle in the Hdtel de 
Choisy, she could not forget the youug 
husband of her love, nor give him a suc- 
cessor. 

She had another suitor of a much more 
violent sort. In those days, Mont Val^rien, 
of which we have lately heu^l so much, 
was not a bristling fortress, but a place of 
pilgrimage ; Madame de Miramion, going 
there with her mother-in-law, accompanied 
by an equerry and two maids, and a foot- 
man, and also by four mounted men-ser- 
vants who rode at the carriage-door^, was 
forcibly abducted by the Comte de Bussy- 
Rabutm, and carriea off to a feudal fortress 
three leagues from* Sens, ''which belonged 
to the Grand Prior of France, Hugh de 
Bussy-Rabutin, that debauched and immor- 
al man whom Madame de Sevign^ called, 
< My uncle, the corsair 1 ' " This castle was 
fortified and moated, defended by several 
drawbridges, which ''were let down one 
after the other, with a great clanking of 
iron chains." The Comte meant to bully 
or persuade her into marrying him, having, 
it seems, been told by a certain Father 
Clement that she would not be averse. 
How Madame de Miramion, by sheer force 
of moral indignation, regained her liberty 
h very well told. She actually got back 
safe to Sens in the middle of the night, 
and was there told that " the town was up 
in arms by order of the Queen-Regent, to 
go to the assistance of the widow of a 
councillor of Parliament, who had been 
carried off by force by a nobleman of rank. 
* Alas I ' she said, ' it is L' " Her brother, 
M. de Rubelle, was in the town, and hast- 
ened to her. When she saw him she 
fainted away, and was afterwards so ill ' 
that the last sacraments were administered. 
As for the Comte de Bussy-Rabutin, she 
pursued him at law for some time, and 
"then forgave him for the love of God," 
but her family, against her entreaty, kept 
up the suit, and Comte de Bussy-Rabutin 
only got off at last by protection of the 
Prince de Cond^ and had to pay £4,000. 

But it is not by the loves or the sorrows 
shared or inspired during the youth of 
Madame de Miramion that she oeserves to 
be remembered. Many women, in that 
brilliant Paris of the seventeenth century, 
were both beautiful and wealthy, and not 



Digitized by 



Googk 



188 



THE BSY. ALBEHT BARNES. 



a few were pious and of good repute. As 
ber extreme youth waned, and her loving 
nature recovered the gpreat shock of her 
husband's death, she began to concern her- 
self with works of active charity. There 
was then in Paris a certain abb^, attached 
to the church of St. Nicolas du Chardon- 
net, caUed by the modest and common 
name of M. Vincent. He was a dear 
friend and spiritual father to Madame de 
Miramion, and with him and under him 
she worked indefati^ably for many years. 
He it was who conceived and caused to be 
carried out that plan of the " Greneral Hos- 
pital," which exists in some of its depart- 
ments at the present day. The Sal- 
petri^re, for instance, is a part of it. M. 
Vincent, of whom much is said in this vol- 
ume, is known to later days in all lands, 
pagan as well as Christian, by the name 
of St. Vincent de Paul. 

As for Madame de Miramion, the story 
of her abundant good works is told at 
length for all who love to read of such. 
She lived to be sixty-six, and died amidst 
the tears and blessings both of the rich 
and the poor. ^ For several days it had 
been impossible to pass before her house, 
so ereat nad been the number of carriages 
and the multitude of persons of all classes 
whose very life seemed to hang upon hers." 
Exactly fifty years had elapsed since her 
widowhood; and that long half-century 
had been spent in constant acts of kind- 
ness. She was intimately concerned in 
all those ^reat foundations, some of which 
have survived the storm of revolution, one 
of which is known on every battle-field, 
and in the h6spitals for the sick, .the 
wounded, the foundlings, or the insane. 
Madame de Sevign^ wrote, ** As to Madame 
de Miramion, that mother of the poor and 
the Church, hers is, indeed, a public loss." 
The Due de St. Simon, usually far from 
addicted to a tender mention of any of his 
contemporaries, speaks of her death in ex- 
actly the same way. Says he, **And it 
really was a loss .... the King always 
had the greatest consideration for her, 
which her humility made her use with 
much prudence. . . . She may be termed 
the mother and guardian of the poor." 
While the Duo de Noailles calls her ^' the 
Great Almoner of the seventeenth cen- 
tury." 

We cannot conclude this review with- 
out a remark upon the profound contrasts 
exhibited by that century, so prolific in all 
the virtues, but in all the vices too. It is 
as if a stream of purest mountain water 
flowed side by side with the vilest sewer 
of a crowded town. To read the life of 



Madame de Mramion, and then to take up 
certain other contemporary memoirs, is 
enough to make the honest reader rub his 
eyes with astonishment, and say ^Can 
both be true?" Our heroine had a 
brother, M. de Pumou, to whom she was 
tenderly attached, and who followed her 
mourning to the grave. He died at a great 
age, and with an excellent reputation in 
the province to which he had retired. Yet 
the infamous Cardinal Dubois, the cor- 
ruptor of the youth and parasite of the 
middle ase of Philippe d'Orleans, speaks 
of M. de Pumou in the most abominable 
way, not only accusing him of being acces- 
sory to the murder of Madame Henriette, 
but lavishing upon him those dirty epithets 
of which his own pen was so proUfio. Ma- 
dame de Maintenon shares the same fate. 
To open^the pages of Cardinal Dubois 
(they are qmiSe unreadable) is to lay the 
finger on the cancer whicn eat into the 
heart and political vitality of France ; to 
ponder ^the life of Madame de Miramion is 
to leam to appreciate those qualities of 
faith and self-sacrifice whicli partially puri- 
fied the silcle de Louis de Grand, and have 
have never ceased to afford ground of hope 
for the future of the country over which 
his descendants have ceased to reign. 



THE BEY. ALBERT BARNES. 

The lonff list of men eminent in every 
walk of life, who have died during the 
past year closes with this honoured name. 

'' In a few words, the leading partioalars of 
his long and useful life may thns be gireo. He 
was bom in Rome, N.Y., in 17d8, graduated at 
the age of twenty-two at Hamilton College, 
studied theology at Princeton, was licensed in 
1824, in the following year, 1825, was orduned, 
and then installed over the Presbvterian Charoh 
at Morristown, N.J., and in 1880 was removed 
to take charge of the First Presbyterian Church, 
Washington Square, in this city, where with the 
relief of an associate pastor, settled about three 
years since, he remained as a most respected 
pastor and faithfhl minister up to the time of 
his death at seventy-two years of age. He was 
one of the most voluminous writers of his day 
on the Scriptures; and his notes on the New 
Testament alone reached a circulation of nearly 
five hundred thousand volumes.*' 

These, widely read wherever the English 
language is spoken, and translated into 
other tongues, have carried his influence 
to thousands who never saw his face. All 
his writings show a fairness, a respect for 
the opinions of those who differed from 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FROM AN ElSTGLISHMAlSr IN SPAIN. 



189 



him, a love of truth for truth's sake, even 
more remarkable than the ability, learning 
and indefatigable industry which they 
manifest. 

But those only who were admitted to his 
fHendship know his modesty, simplicity 
and sincerity, his meekness through good 
report and evil report, his wise and harm- 
less life of faith and love. 

Three years ago he closed a sermon on 
" Life at Threescore and Ten " by quoting 
these lines, — 

** So glide my life away! And so, at last. 
My share of daties decently fulfilled. 
May some disease, not tardy to perform 
Its destined office, yet with gentle stroke, 
Dismiss me weary, to a safe retreat. 
Beneath the turf that I have often trod." 

In his sudden and painless death while in 
the act of ministering to others, his praver 
was granted. ^ ^a works do follow 
him." 



From The Pill Mall Gaiette. 
FBOM AN ENGUSHMAN IN SPAIN. 

Not. 90 
The first thing — the principal thing — » 
to be said of the election of the Duke of 
Aosta is that it is only a prolongation of 
the Interinidad in a new form and under a 
polite disguise. It is the Interinidad with 
a nice new crown on, and with its shaky 

Sins gracefiQly covered with royal robes. 
r Prince Amadeo de Saboya does come 
here on the strength of the recent vote — 
which is still uncertain up to this morning 
— it will be curious proof either of the fas- 
cination lurking in tne title of King, or of 
the incompetency of Italian diplomacy. It 
seems impossible to us on the root — see- 
ing what the miyority was, and now it was 
brought about — that any man receiving 
full and accurate information could hope 
to make a peaceful reign and a permanent 
dynasty upon such foundations. The elec- 
tion, in fact, is a party as distinct from a 
national election; a military as distinct 
from a genewd one ; and a Madrid election 
as distinct from a really Spanish one. A 
little examination of its history and cir- 
cumstances will show that this is its true 
character, and quite naturally so. 

To begin with, not patriotism, but neces- 
sity — necessity tempered as much as pos- 
sible by considerations of convenience — 
(frove Prim into proposing the measure at 
all. His real wish was to do without a 
King, by strengthening the Regency ; and 



to trust to the army to continue to keep 
the Republicans down, which, considering 
that the Republicans openly proclaim their 
hatred of military influence, the army has 
never been loth to do. The game has 
been all his own, and an easy game, for 
the last two years. Representing the 
most revolutionarv element in a military 
revolution, he took the lead as a matter 
of course, and by no merit of his own. 
The old Conservative generals of the 
O'Donnell type were gone. The Unionist 
generals, more or less of their school, have 
had nothing to ** pronounce '* for. The 
CarUsts are imbecile ; the Republicans a 
new partv scarcely represented in the 
army. The only men who could have hurt 
Fnm have been men of a more scrupulous 
character than himself^ and who, committed 
with him to the destruction of the Bour- 
bon dynasty, had nothing to fall back 
upon if they had been inclined to a reac- 
tion. In short, to compare small things 
with great, events have worked for Prim 
as they did for Louis Napoleon after ,1818, 
and his principal ability has been shown in 
not spoinne the effect of them. He has said 
some fooli£ and violent things. He has 
perpetrated some gross and shameless jobs. 
But in the long run he has been a prudent 
man, and has shown the characteristic 
shrewdness of the Catalan. This shrewd- 
ness taught him at last that* there must be 
a settlement, or apparent settlement, of 
some kind, and he found, in choosing the 
young Prince Amadeus, a candidature 
combining the maximum of political plaus- 
ibility with the minimum oi danger to the 
ascendency of his own following. If the 
candidature suited Spain as well as it suits 
the Progressist majority, nothing could be 
better. 

But, unfortunately, this is precisely what 
no independent observer here can believe. 
The election pleases nobody but the afore- 
said majority, and has fallen 4ead fiat over 
the whole country. No blue or yellow 
party in an English borough carries its 
locid Buggins with so Uttle hilarity as has 
been excited here by this "return " of a 
successor of Charles the Fifth. Yet it was 
a close thing, for the majority is really 
only eighteen. The law required that a 
King efected by the Cortes should have 
173 votes: the Duke's friends mustered 
191. But this is not all. A minority of 
that 191 are empleados, placeholders in one 
form or another. They are the politicians 
who have had the run of the Government 
puchero any time these two years, and 
what they voted for was not so much the 
Italian Prince as the " Government's man." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



190 



FROM AN ENGLISHHAK IN SPAIN. 



The English reader, knowing bo well the 
advantage which an English party has 
when its own Ministry " goes to the coun- 
try," can understand tiie nature of this tri- 
umph in the Cortes. And we are to re- 
member that whereas in England place- 
hunting and place-holding are mere inci- 
dents of pubhc life, they constitute nearly 
the whole of public life in Spain. Their 
political slang is full of jokes about it — 
the public money being generally called 
turromy from a cake made of ground al- 
monds, nuts, and honey, which is much 
eaten at this time of the year. 

There were some curious features about 
the act of election which deserve a place 
in this chapter of Spanish history. Grov- 
emment took the precaution of bringing 
in the troops to Madrid about noon from 
all the stations round the capital, and there 
were blEittalions in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood (though kept out of si^ht) of 
the Palacio del Congreso, in which the 
Cortes met ' Properly the only business 
of the Cortes was to vote. But petitions 
being presented pro and con, there were 
furious endeavours made to speak, which 
were put down by the President. Soan- 
iards when they are the least excited by 
dispute, even in a club, dance like Red 
Indians and foam at the mouth, a spectacle 
which has often amused the monotony of 
my melancholy weed. You may fancy, 
then, the general character of the scene of 
the 16th. The President, Ruiz Zorrilla, 
broke three bells in the course of the hour^ 
and-a-half s tumult which preceded the 
votins. A Carlist roared out a request 
for the Pope's bull of excommunication 
against the JKing of Italy to be read; an- 
other deputy, a waggish Andaluz, asked 
whether Aosta would swear to the Con- 
stitution in Italian or Spanish ? Personal 
menaces flew about, and the whole afl&ir 
had for a time the appearance of a bull- 
fight. Especfkl rage was shown against a 
handful or extreme revolutionists — the 
cimbrioi mentioned in previous letters — 
who had been won over to vote for the 
Italian Prince. The close of the voting 
came at last, and the result was hailea 
with a royal salute from a battery of can- 
non ; but Madrid showed much more fear 
than loy ; shops and theatres were shut, 
and the night passed over in sUenoe and 
darkness. 

It was the same thing in the gpreat pro- 
vincial towns. The result of the division 
was not even known in Barcelona till next 
morning ; though the Captain-General had 
prudenUy served out half-a-peseta (five- 
pence) a head and some wine to the troops 



the day before, to prepare them for the 
good news — an exact reproduction of the 
donativwn and congiarium of the Roman 
Empire. The mass of the Barcelonese r^ 
ceived the tidings with scorn — a few man- 
ufactures hoping the best from it for tiie 
sake of trade — and in the course of a £9w 
hours his Mtyesty was christened and 
caricatured by the common people as 
<* Maocaroni the First" It is in the prov- 
inces that the King^ect^s cause is weakest. 
The rural districts, where the nobility and 
clergy have most infiuence, have a super- 
stitious horror of a funily which is under 
the ban of the Pontiffl The towns again, 
though the upper class think monarchy 
essential to oider, are swarming with Be- 
pubUoans, or at least with revolutionists, 
in whom all monarchical sentiment is weak. 
Even of the small majority in the Cortes a 
portion gave their suffrage to the Diike 
only because they thought him better than 
no 'King at all. What remains, then, of 
solid force for his Maiesty to ride the water 
on ? Only the small compact Progressist 
party headed by Prim and his friends, who 
have the upper hand for the time and hold 
their own, but who have failed after their 
two years' supremacy to weld the country 
together or establish confidence. Tlie 
new Kin^ must for a long time, in any 
case, be in their hands and share their 
popularity or unpopularity, and he must 
be a heaven-bom genius indeed if he es- 
capes tortures and peril from such a posi- 
tion'. The simple fact that he is a foreigner 
will be against him for years. And, odd 
as it may seem, the very similarity of that 
*< Latin element" of which we hear ao 
much between Italy and Spain is rather 
unfavourable to the Prince than otherwise. 
The Latin element is a fine thing to talk 
about, and the Spaniard loves t^. But 
the power of the world is with the North- 
em races, and the Spaniard worships 
power. He has a sly misgiving that Italy 
18 little stronger or more prosperous than 
Spain ; and he is already uneasy about the 
new Civil List. "^ The old Eing^ from the 
Eiast," said a Spanish journal the other 
day (a certain sarcastic turn is one of the 
most prominent Spanish talents), ^' brought 
gold and incense with them, but this King 
will have nothing in his pocket.'^ 

As yet, our Republicans here have done 
nothing to assist France in getting rid of 
the <* Antonio element," which they prom- 
ised to do some weeks back. The explan- 
ation, I believe, is very simple. The 
^ Latin element " was found, when it came 
to the push, to be without men, money, 
muaketSy bread, breeches, or boots; and 



Digitized by 



Googk 



FROM AN ENGLISHMAN IN SPAIN. 



191 



when an " element " is in a muddle of that 
kind what can it do against another 
" element " ? To be sure, if a country is 
out of sorts it has always one resource — 
it can abuse England; and both the 
French and the Spaniards are beginning to 
chuckle over the prospect of our having a 
Bussian war and an Indian insurrection on 
our hands. It is impossible to live abroad 
and consort with foreigners of different 
nations without seeing Uiat there is an in- 
tense curiosity to know whether England 
can hold her old position in Europe, and a 
ffreat eagerness to prove that we held it 
before by judicious alliances rather than 
native force. As for Spain and our rela- 
tions to her, I can only say that the Duke 
of Wellington and his army have dropped 
as thorou^y out of the popular history 
as if they had all gone to the oottom in the 
transports which brought them to the 
moutn of the Mondeffo in August, 1808. 

This country has been so given up of 
late to political faction that there is hardly 
any social measure or incident to report. 
The Constitution still remains, for the 
most part, an unembodied abstraction, 
and clergy, half-pav officers, and holders 
of securities are btill waiting for their pay 
and dividends. A somewhat singular at- 
tempt to renew the censorship in another 



form has been tried upon the Madrid 
press, not without effect. A society called 
the Compatlia de la Porra, or, as we might 
render it in English, the Companions of 
the Cudgel, has been formed in the capital 
for the purpose of visiting newspaper 
offices in force and beating with sticks 
writers of unpalatable views. The ad- 
vantage of this mode of controversy is seen 
at a glEUice, especially when we remember 
that the assailants are three or four to one, 
and are armed beforehand. Fair play, so 
valued in England, is despised in Spain as 
deliberate weakness, and not only custom 
but law is in favour of assassins. Thus 
everybody who sees a man stabbed here 
runs away, and as nobody can be convicted 
except on the evidence of two eye-witnesses, 
few practices are safer than assassination. 
The judges, too, even when not bribed, 
are so duatory that the murderers of the 
Acting Civil Governor of Taragona last 
year are still waiting the MencUy hug of 
the congenial aarrots. When to this kind 
of fact we addf that though the taxation 
has become almost intolerable the town 
councils are generally insolvent, it will be 
seen that it is nearly time for the revolu- 
tionists of 1868 to be beginning the practi- 
cal part of their reforms. 



It Is a long lane that has no tomiag, and it 
is pleasant to be able to record one ciroamstaooe 
in oonneotion with the invasion of France that 
reflects credit on all oonoemed. The oorreepond- 
ent of the Cologne OazeUtt writing from Ver- 
sailles, says he ia living qoite alone in a most 
beautiftilly Aimished hoose which has been for- 
saken by its owner, who, before leaving, frst- 
ened a strip of paper to the door, on which was 
written an expression of his contldenoe that his 
property woald be safe under the ohivalrooa 
protection of PmsSian ofBoera, to whose care he 
entrusted it He has not been disappointed in 
this oonfidence, for not a pin has been moved 
from its place; the only thing that has been 
disturbed is a small needle-case belonging to the 
lady of the boose, nor was it meddled with ex- 
cept under circumstances of a most urgent and 
distressing nature. The correspondent of the 
Cologne Gazette had the misfortune to tear his 
trousers; in the agony of the moment be ooold 
not resist taking advantage of the contents of a 
small 6tni with silver mountings lying on the 
table, bat having repaired the rent in his gar- 
ment he fiuled not to put everything back in its 
place, also enclosing his visiting card, <m which 
were written bis excuses for the liberty he had 
taken. Very different, according to the account 



of the correspondent of the Daily Telegraphy 
appears to have been the treatment of the Qhk- 
teau de Beauregard, the seat of the De Bauffre- 
mont fiunily, about two miles distant from Ver- 
sailles, which is occupied by a Prussian general 
and his sta£ The correspondent of the Tele^ 
graph paid a visit to this ofiScer, and gives not 
only an account of the mass of concision in 
which every article of ftimiture was lying in 
heaps, but also enters into a detail of various 
articles of ladies' clothing scattered about, and 
also minutely describes the arrangements of the 
duchess's bedroom. The visit was enlivened by 
the fooetlous general divine into drawer after 
drawer and fishing out with the tips of his 
fingers '*some mysterious artide of intitnate 
cbthing,** occasionally *' throwing over bis 
epaule^ed shoulder a burnous glowing with all 
the colours of the rainbow, or investing his 
martial grey head with a smart capuchin of the 
latest Parinan mode.*' The general's conduct 
may have been justified by the ** rules of war," 
but it was hardly n e ces sa ry to publish in the 
Telegraph a correct list of the wardrobe of the 
unfortunate lady whose property has fidlen into 
hands less sorupolous toan those of the oor- 
respondent of the Cologne Gazette, 

PaUMaUQaaette. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



192 



MISCBLLANY. 



The fickle PftrisiAiis, it seems, were not con- 
tent with efiaoing every allusion to the Empe- 
ror in pablio plaoes; their dames have deter- 
mined upon abolishing all marks of the Em- 
press's influenoe from' their dress. According 
to a Bordeaux paper, which professes to have 
received a communication upon this important 
subject by balloon, all the fashions set or sus- 
tained bj the once supreme Eugenie have re- 
ceived their final sentence of condemnition. 
Every st^le of (brm or adornment which has 
been prevalent under the Empire — notably the 
many details which were adopted fh>m Marie 
Antoinette or Mme. de Pompadour — is being 
ruthlessly abandoned, and a reform of a radical 
nature introduced. Even the luxuriant coiffures 
which have been so long in favour are said to 
be doomed. The chignon itself is no more; and 
blonde hair, which has turned so many heads 
during the last ten years, is to be abjured, as 
the remnant of a barbaric age. The terms in 
which this natural, or artificial, peculiarity is 
stigmatized by the writer are so personally 
spiteful towards an illustrious lady and her 
Court that it ought not, perhaps, to be quoted. 
This is what she says — the sex of course is 
taken for granted : — ** Taking advantage of 
the flight of certain personages who had grey, 
thin, or red hair, ana who inflicted on fa^ion 
their indispensable folse hair, our Parisian la- 
dies have at once restored to liberty their own 
locks, so long hid under the despotic artificial 
chignon. Brown plaits, carefully smoothed 
down, light ringlets, at once graceful and nat- 
ural, have alone adorned for some days the del- 
icate and pretty heads of our young ladies, who 
are delighted to have their most beautiful adorn- 
ment restored to tbem.*' We are not told what 
ladies are to do who are not young, and who 
have not delicate or pretty heads, or whose hair, 
besides not being brown, is not abundant enough 
to bear careful smoothing or to flow in the form 
of ringlets; but it may be supposed that under 
the one fashion as under the other, the principle 
of assuming a virtue if you have it not will 
equally prevaiL We suspect, however, that 
prudent ladies, in or out of France, will pause 
before revolutionizing their charms until the 
elections shall have declared for or against the 
Provisional Government It is all* very well 
for men to pull down such things as empires 
without havmg anything to maintain in their 
place; but it is not to be expected that ladies 
will make frights of themselves unnecessarily by 
following fiwhions set by doubtful authority. In 
the cause of consistency, too, they might find it 
necessary to assume sackcloth and ashes before 
many days are over. Paii Mall Gaxette. 



Thb Arch in Babylon. — It had long been a 
question how the Hanging Qanlens of Babylon 
were supported at so great a height — the idea 
being, until lately, taken for granted that the 
Babyloniani did not understand the principle 



of the arch. Bat it is now known that very 
perfect arches were built in Egypt, in Assyria, 
and in Babylonia, centuries before Nebuchad- 
nessar's time, and so the quebtion is simplified. 
The ancient Romans, when they had to carry 
& stone aqueduct aoro-s a deep ravine, some- 
times built three or four tiers of arches one 
above another, till the required level to which 
the water was to be carried was reached. In 
the same manner, only on a larger scale, were 
the hanging gardens raised. Th^ buUt one 
storey of arches, covering the required space; on 
this was placed a second storey, and thus waa 
storey after storey raised. The Arehiteot. 



Dksibous of aiding the English Eclipse Expe- 
dition, Prof. Peiroe has addressed the following 
letter to Mr. Lockyer. It is to be hoped that 
observers will take advantageof the opportunity 
so magnificently sflforded them : — 

*' Fenton't HoteL 
** My Dbak Sir. — I have been directed by the 
Govemm nt of the United Stat«^ to have the best 
possible observations made of the total eclinde of 
next December. If I could aid the cause of A«troii- 
omy by aadstiDg the observers of England in tbeir 
investigation of this phenomenon I thoold be 
greatly pleased. 1 take the lil>erty therefi>re to in- 
vite your attendance, and also that 'of other emi- 
nent physicists of England, with either of tho par- 
tics of my expedition, one of which will go to S>>ain 
and the other to Sicily .— Yours very respectftillr 
and IkithftiUy, ^ t— * 

'* Bknjaxin Pkirox. 
"J. Norman Lockyer, Esq., F.K.8." 

Of course it would have been better had Eng- 
lish observers, who have devoted their attention 
to solar physios, gone out under the English 
flag; but science is of no country, and they may 
wcdl be proud to join such a distinguished corps 
as that with which they are asked to associate 
themselves. Nature. 



A WINTER EVENING. 

Lo! as the marshalling shades of eve invest 
The wide gray earth, and wide wild heavens 

graj. 
How the cold clouds crowd round the smoulder- 
ing west. 
To warm them at the embers of the day! 
A while, and through the gathered gloom of 

night, 
A star-point pierces keenly here and there; 
And here ana there a flickering cottage-light 
Comes out upon the upland bleak and bare. 
Huge and uncouth, the surge of eastern hills 
Swells up the sky, and seems a monstroos ark 
Launched in a sea of gloom. A wailing shrills 
Through the vast void, peopling the hollow dark 
With spirit-voices; while at times, afar. 
Perfecting Qod's great law, drops down a star. 
Chambers' Joomal. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



LIT TELL'S LIVING AGE. 

No. 1390.— January 21, 187L 



CONTENTS. 

1. CiBTLi St. ANon.0. By W. W. Story. Part I., Blackwood* 9 Magazine, . . .195 

2. Sbed-Timb awd Habybst: or Dubino mt Ap- 

PRKMnoBSBip. Part IV. Translated for 

The Living Age fh>m the Platt-Deutech 

of Fritz ReuUr, 210 

8. Thb Pkbsonal History or Impebialibm in 

1870, Fraeer'e Magazine, ... 228 

4. Earl's Dbnr. CoQclusioa, .... Blacktoood'e Magazine, . . 285 

6. Tub Soibnob or Nonsbnsb, .... Spectator, 251 

6. Thb New CoMsriTUTzoir or Gbbmant, . . Spectator, 258 

POETRY. 



Tbb Stbbks, 104 

AFbosttDat, 194 

Boss Atlmeb, 209 



NOYBMBEB, 284 

Martial's Epitaph on a Child, . . 284 
Epitaph on a Maid-Sbbyant, . 284 



BfiBOBLLANT 222, 284, 255, 256 



NuMBBRS or thb Limvo Aob Wanted. The publishers are in want of Nos. 1179 and 
1180 (dated respectively Jan. 5th and Jan. 12th, 1867) of The Living Aob. To cabscribers, 
or others, who will do us the fftvor to send ns either or both of those numbers, we will return an 
equivalent, either in our pubUcations or in cash, until our wants are supplied. 



PUBLISHED EYERT SATURDAT BT 

LITTELL & GAY, BOSTON. 



TERMS OP SUBSCRIPTION. 
Fob Eight Dollabs, remitted direetly to the Publithen, the Livmo Aob will be pnnetually for- 
warded for a yeait.frte q/Tpostape. But we do not prepay poeta^ on leM than a >ear, nor where we have 
to pay commission for forwarding the money. 

Frioe of the First Series, In Cloth, 86 Tolnmet, 90 dollars. 
•• ** Second " " 20 " fiO " 

" " Third " " 82 " 80 " 

The Complete Work, 100 " 260 " 

Any Volume Bound, 8 dollars ; Unbound, ) dollars. The sets, or Tolomes, will be tent at the ezpenss 
of the publishers. 

PREMIUMS FOR CLUBS. 
For 6 new sabKilbers (WO.), a sixth copy; or a set of Hobhk's Ihtboduotioh to thb Biblb, un- 
abridged. In 4 large Tolomes, doth, price tlO ; or any 5 of the back Tolumes of the Liviiro Aob, in nam* 
bers, price tlO. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



194 



THB SYRENS, ETC. 



THE BTRENS. 

/Off Capil, April, 1A68. 

Look dowii,»fkr downward! Are not those 
the Syrens? 
Do not their white arms gleam, 
Where wayering sonbeams light the depths of 



Like some sweet doabtftd dream 7 

Listen, oh, listen! Is not that their singing 7 — 
That low, sweet, marmoring sound. 

Steeping both sool and sense in slumbroos ma- 
sic. 
That ever-eddying roond. 

Now sinks and paoses dying, and then rises. 

Most like an organ's swell; 
And if the words be theirs ibai fill mjUaay, 

Or mine, I cannot teU. 

** Come down,*' they sing, *< come down, oh, 
weary mortal. 
With heart so ill at ease! 
Come down, and taste the cool calm rest that 
waits yon. 
Below the changeAil seas! 

<*AboTe, the fiery sommer sunbeams scorch 
you. 

And the hard winter chills. 
Below, is neither burning heat of summer. 

Nor yet the cold which kills. 

« Above, your eyes are blinded by the sun- 
shine. 

Or look in vain for light. 
Below, a soft green twilight reigns for ever. 

Of equal day and night 

** The earth is ftill of care, of wild endeavour. 

That seldom brings suoeess. 
Of griefii that sap the strength, and dim the 
eyesight. 

And Joys that do not bless. 

''There all things change, — your very grieih 
pass by yon. 
And fost your Joys decay. 
And the strong passions of your hate and an- 

Die fruitlessly away. 

" Life flieth fitst, and fUleth quickly from yon. 

Tour once warm loves grow cold; 
Tour youth is full of toil; your age is weary; 

And so your tale is told! 

<* But, down with us, no weariness nor labour 

Shall stir your dreamful ease. 
And the fierce fire of passion, and of bnging. 

Grows cool beneath the 



'' For here, perpetual pleasure steeps the senses 

In deep unbroken calm. 
Closing the wounds you bring from life's wild 
struggle. 

With its soft healing balm. 



« Come down! Ton love to feel the tiny wave- 
lets 

Steal round about your feet 
If 'tis a joy to feel their sportive kisses. 

Will not their clasp be sweet 7 

'* Come down! come down! The lulling voice of 
ocean 

Shall drown earth's harsher noise; 
And yon shall taste how rest that is unbroken 

Outweighs her chiefest joys." 

Oh, cease, sweet voices! cease your witching 
music 

Cease ere your song prerail! 
Ah ! — it is over! — and I was but dreaming 

Upon the ancient tale. 

Where yet lies hid a truth of subtle meaning. 

By noblest hearts confest; 
Except as he beoometh beast, or angel, 

Idan may not find his rest 

And though in truth we hear no Syren voices 

Luring to shameful ease, 
Tet yearnings rise within us as we listen 

Unto the murmuring seas; 

For there is something in the sound of waters 

Sweeter than sweetest mirth. 
Uttering aloud the soul's unspoken bngings. 

Sought and unfound on earth. 

Spectator. 



A FROSTT DAT. 



O&ASs afield wears silver thatch. 
Palings all are edged with rime. 

Frost-flowers pattern round the latoh 
Goud nor breeae dissolve the dime; 

When the waves are solid floor. 

And the clods are iron-bound. 
And the boughs are crystaU'd'hoar 

And the red leaf naii'd a'ground. 

When the fleldfere's flight is slow. 

And a rosy vapour rim. 
Now the sun is small and low. 

Belts along the region dim. 

When the ice-crack flies and flaws. 
Shore to shore with thunder shook. 

Deeper than the erening daws. 
Clearer than the viUi^ dock. 

When the rusty blackbird strips. 
Bunch by bunch, the coral thorn, 

Aud the pile day-cresoent dipd 
New to heaven a slender horn. 

Uood Words. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



CASTLB^ ST. ANOELO. 



195 



From Blaekwood't Magasiiie. 
CASTLE ST. AKGELO. 



By W. W. Stobt. 



" Dm groflsta Werke dieser Art Im Abendlande 
Bogleieb das Sobioksalrelchflte la selnen Erinner- 
angeii — eioe Gesohlohte In der Gesotaiobte.*' — Von 
Beomont, '* Qesohiohte der Stadt Bom./' toL L 
Ik4n. 

Amokg the massiye remams of Imperial 
Rome, one of the most imposing is the 
Mausoleum or Mole of Hadrian, now 
known as the Castle St Angelo. It stands 
on the site where once were the gardens 
of Domitia,* overlooking the undulating 
plains of the Campagna in its rear, and 
stretching out its long covered corridof to 
the Vatican. Poised on its summit, and 
dark against the blue Italian sky, towers 
the bronze figure of the Archangel 
Michael, as if he had just alighted with 
outspread wings and floating mantle, and 
paused there in the act of sheathing his 
Bword. Beneath it flows the Tiber, in 
whose tawny and troubled waters it has 
cast its wavering reflection for nearly 
eighteen centuries. There, standing apart 
from all other buildings, it lifts its battle- 
mented towers and bastions like a guard 
or a menace to the closely-built city lying 
across the river before it, and challenges 
every passenger who, crossing the ancient 
.£lian Bridge, passes before it on his way 
to the great Basilica of St. Peter. The 
bridge has changed its name as well as 
the Mausoleum, and is now called the 
Ponte St. Angelo. The statues of gods 
and heroes placed there by Hadrian have 
disappeared, and on their pedestals stand 
the sculptured saints of Bernini, fantastic 
in their draperies and grotesque in their 
attitudes, but picturesque in their general 
eflect. The funeral processions, which in 

* So, at least, it would seem from a passage in 
CapitoUnus, where he sajrs of Hadrian, " Beliqaias 
ejus Romam penrexit sanote et reverenter atque in 
hortls Domids ooUocavit" But, according to Ca- 
saubon, the term **ooUocare '* is to be distingnisbed 
from " condere " and "sepelire"— and the mean- 
ing of this passage may be. that the asbes of Hadrian 
were merely temporarily collocated or laid in state 
in the gardens of Domitia, and afterwards trans- 
ftrred to the Haosolenm. Where precisely these 
gardens were we are nowhere clearly told by any 
ancient writer ~ unless they be the " Hortes Domi- 
tii " (not Domitia^) mentioned by Publius Victor as 
being in the fourteenth region of the dtgr. 



the great days of Rome bore the ashes of 
her pagan emperors across that bridge to 
the sounding chambers of the mighty 
Mausoleum, have vanished, and a mot- 
ley Christian crowd now passes over 
these ancient arches, through which the 
swift river has whirled its turbulent cur- 
rent for so many generations ; swift, like 
the river of time — turbulent, like the his- 
tory of the place ; fleeting never to re- 
turn, like the generations that have 
passed. 

On festal days from the tower and bas- 
tions of the Castle float the great painted 
gonfalons of the Church, and from its bat- 
tlements whirl out white wreaths of smoke 
as the black mouths of cannon thunder 
forth their salvos. Along its ramparts 
flash the glittering bayonets of soldiers, 
and the shriek of trumpets and the rattle 
of drums is heard. The bridge, too, is 
alive with crowds that are hurrying to St. 
Peter's. Over its pavement jar the gilded 
coaches of cardinals, dragged by black 
stallions with nodding scarlet plumes, and 
clung to by lackeys in harlequin liveries. 
There, too, may be seen the more modest 
equipages of ambassadors and princes and 
nobles not of the Church. Mounted drar 
goons with gleaming helmets wave their 
swords at the head of the bridge to warn 
off the rush of cabs that are forced to take 
the other route — forced, despite the earn- 
est remonstrances of ladies in black veils, 
who lean out and implore the dragoons, 
and of English improvised lord-lieutenants 
in red uniforms, sometimes mounted on 
the box with the driver, who threaten 
and gesticulate in an unknown tongue. 
But the motley mob of foot-passengers are 
all free to pass ; and picturesque enough 
they are as they crowd along, mixed 
quaintly together, monks, soldiers, and 
beggars of course, for, as the saying runs, 
the bridge is never fr«e of these. Then 
there are peasants in bright-coloured cos- 
tumes ; sisters of charity in black, with 
their stiff white linen head-gear ; schools 
of boys dressed like little sad old men in 
black coats and tall hats ; flocks and trains 
of charity-children ; all the lame and muti- 
lated beggars in town limping on crutches ; 
laughing squads of Paini and Trasteverini, 
the men with their jackets hung over their 



Digitized by 



Googk 



196 



CASTLK ST. ANGELO. 



shoulders, the women bedizened in all their 
golden jewellery and corals, with a hand- 
kerchief over their glistening braids of 
black hair; priests and aJthdi with their 
big boat-like hats, tucking up under their 
arms their silken or worsted mantles; 
gamins rushing through them all like shut- 
tles, or seated on the parapet of the 
bridge ; limonari tugging their way along 
with a booth on their backs, ready to make 
lemonades for the crowd; cigar-vendors 
with a box hanging from their necks filled 
with scelti and dolciy and shrieking << Chi 
vuol cigari dolci f" — and all good-natured 
and peaceable. While going on, if one 
but casts one's eyes back down the long 
vista of history, what a revulsion comes 
over one 1 How the ghosts rise and mock 
at the gaiety 1 

What a change has come over men and 
things since first the stones of this great 
Mausoleum were laid 1 Could they speak, 
how sad, how terrible a history they might 
reveal of human baseness, tyranny and 
misery ; and, let us hope, somewhat too of 
noble endurance, of heroic patience, of un- 
corrupted virtue and patriotism 1 Within 
those walls what crimes have been com- 
mitted, what agonies have been endured I 
Without those walls what tumult of seeth- 
ing battle, what clashing of arms and 
shrieks of pain and fury, what glaring of 
wild flames, what raging of wilder passions 
wreaking themselves in murder, rapine, 
and horrors without a name 1 In its secret 
ceUs popes have been strangled, starved, 
and sent to a bloody end; philosophers 
and thinkers have perished, vainly strug- 
gling against bigotry and superstition; 
patriots have fought and died for liberty. 
On the foul walls of its dungeons artists 
and poets have scrawled their names, their 
verses, and their pictures, longing for the 
light of day ; beauty and youth have per- 
ished in the dark, vainly praying for help ; 
innocent men have falsely confessed crimes 
under the torture of the rack. In its fres- 
coed halls emperors and popes have held 
their courts, and banqueted and trampled 
on the rights of man ; and the ashes of 
emperors have filled the vases of its sepul- 
chral chamber. The silent statues which 
gathered once around its colonnades and 
looked upon the glory and pageant of 



ancient Bome, saw also the storm and fury 
of barbarian battle, and the desolation by 
the Goths, before they were toppled down 
upon the heads of an infuriated soldiery. 
ITiese walls, too, have seen the dreary pro- 
cessions of the plague pass under them. 
They have shaken with the awfrd heave of 
the earthquake and the sudden explosion 
of powder. They have been the silent 
witnesses of the history of the Church in 
its blackest moments and at the zenith of 
itfl pride and power ; and they still stand, 
a part of the present as of the past. This 
massive Mausoleum — by turns a tomb 
and a fortress, a prison and a palace, a 
chapel and a treasure-chamber; now 
threatening the liberty of Rome, now de- 
fending its very existence ; now the refuge 
of the Republic, now the hiding-place of 
the popes ; through war and peace, from 
the Imperial days of Rome, through all the 
Gothic and medieval epochs down to the 
present hour, — has never ceased to be a 
living part of the history of Rome. Fully 
to write the history of this tomb and for- 
tress would be to write the history of 
Rome. A humbler task, yet not without 
interest, would be to string upon it as a 
thread some of the most striking incidents 
of which it was the theatre, and slightly to 
sketch some of the more important per- 
sonages that there have lived, or acted, or 
Buffered. 

The earUest notices of the Mausoleum 
by the ancient Latin writers are by Spar- 
tian and Dion Cassius ; but their mention 
of it is as laconic as a catalogue. All that 
Spartian says is, in enumerating Ha- 
drian's works, *^ He made the bridge and 
sepulchre called by his name next the 
Tiber." ♦ Dion says, " Hadrian was buried 
on the bank of the river close by the .£lian 
Bridge, for there his sepulchre was built. 
The monument of Augustus was already 
filled, and no one after was buried in it" f 
These brief statements are all these 
writers deem it necessary to make about 
this magnificent Mausoleum. Rome was 
then the world, and doubtless to them it 



* " Fecit et snl nomlnis pontem et fiepolohmm 
Jaxta Tiberim.*' 

t " Sepnltus eet AdrUnns In ripa fluvias Juxta 
Pontem uElium. Illic enlm sepulobrura conditum. 
Jam enim August! monumentum repletum erat, ne 
qaisquam mmpllus in e<^ sepeliebatur." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



CASTLE ST. ANGELO. 



197 



seemed superfluous to describe what was 
BO familiar to every one who came to Rome. 
There it stood before the eyes of every- 
body, and there it would stand for ever. 
There is a sort of stoical reticence and 
pride in these brief words which is very 
characteristic of the time and the people ; 
but one cannot help wishing that some 
garrulous old gentleman like Pliny had 
given us an account of it, taking, of 
course, a little more pains to be exact than 
Pliny ever did. 

Besides this tomb we also know that 
Hadrian built several others to his horses 
and dogs chiefly ; for he seems to have had 
a passion for dogs and horses as well as 
the building of sepulchres.* Of one .of 
these " In Borysthenem Equum," we 
have a special mention; and though we 
have no account of the Mausoleum, we 
have the record of an epigram written by 
by the Emperor on this favourite horse, 
llie Mausoleum would take care of itself 
— the epigram might be lost. 

Though the Mausoleum was built in the 
latter part of the second century, it is 
not until the sixth century, when Proco- 
pius wrote his history of the Gothic wars, 
that we have any description of it. This 
also is very brief and unsatisfactory ; but 
we should not even have had this, were it 
not that the Mausoleum had then been 
turned into a fortress, and become the 
main key to the defence of Rome against 
its ^ivaders. Even now we have no ac- 
count of its architecture, and almost no 
description of the statues with which it 
was adorned; while contemporary with 
this first description is the account of its 
mutilation. 

^ Beyond the Aurelian Gate,*' says Ptoco- 
pius, ** a stone's throw from the walls, is 
the tomb of Hadrian, a wonderful and ad- 
mirable work, built of large blocks of Pa- 
rian marble, superposed and closely fitted 
together without cement or clamps to bind 
them. The four sides " (of the basement, 
he means) ** are equal, each about a stone's 
throw in length, and the height is greater 
than the walls of the city. On the sum- 
mit are seen t admirable statues of men 

• " Eqnos et oases slo iimftTit at eb sepnlohn oon- 
■tltaeret." 

t ** E<c<>" he M7^ though he writes, after 



and horses of the same material, and as this 
tomb formed a defence to the city thrown 
out beyond the walls, it was joined to 
them by the ancients' (iraXato iuvOporroi) by 
two arms built out to.it, so that it seemed 
to rise out of them like a lofty turret." 

To this brief description John of Antioch, 
the author of a book of antiquities in the 
eighth century,* cited by Salmasius in his 
notes to Spartian's " Life of Hadrian," adds 
the fact that the Mausoleum was sur- 
mounted by a statue of Hadrian in a car 
drawn by four horses, and so large that a 
full-grown man might pass through one of 
the horses' eyes. And yet, he says, in con- 
sequence of the great height of the Mauso- 
leum, the horses, as well as the statue of 
Hadrian, seen firom below, have the effect 
of being very small. This would seem to 
indicate that the horses were hollow, and 
if so, they must have been cast in bronze, 
and not made of marble, as stated by 
Procopius, and as were those on the tomb 
of Mausolus. 

Pietro Manlio, who wrote in the middle 
of the twelfth century (1160), at the time 
of Alexander III., thus describes it: 
" There is also the castle which was built 
in memory of Hadrian, as one may read in 
the sermon of the Pope S. Leo on the fes- 
tival of St. Peter, wherein he says that the 
temple of wonderful size built by the Em- 
peror Hadrian is entirely covered by stones 
and adorned by various histories. In its 
circuit it is furnished with brazen gates, 
with golden peacocks, and a brazen bull, 
two of which [peacocks] are * in Cantharo 
Paridisi.' On the four sides of the temple 
were four gilt bronze horses in firont of 
each of the brazen gates. In the centre 
was the porphyry sepulchre now in the 
Lateran, in which Innocent 11. is buried ; 
and the cover of it is in St. Peter's, over 
the tomb of the prefect." f 

This description, it will be observed, is 
taken from a sermon by St. Leo. Whether 

maii7 ftt least of the statues were thrown down dur- 
ing the attacks of the Goths, as if these still re- 
mained. 

• This treatise is in the Codex Palatinu^ No. H 
in the Yadoan Libnuy. 

t The Prefect here mentioned is Otto II., and the 
ooTer now serves as the baptismal font in St. Peter's. 
—See Hist. BasiL Antiq. S. Petri. Apost.. in Vatic , 
eh. vii. p. 60; and Lord Bronghton's Italy, toI. VL 
p. 168^ where it is qnoted. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



198 



CASTLE ST. AKGELO. 



it be accurate or not, it seems to have 
been followed and repeated by all subse- 
quent writers and restorers. 

From an anonymous writer in the thir- 
teenth century we learn that the marble 
with which it was faced, as well as the 
bronze doors, still existed in his day ; and 
he also speaks of horses and gildeid pea- 
cocks and a bull as forming a part of it.* 
We have no other description of it until 
the middle of the fifteenth century, when 
we find it represented in basso relievo on 
the bronze doors of St. Peter's, modelled 
by Antonio PoUigo by order of Pope Eu- 
eenius. In 1421, or thereabouts, Oricel- 
larius, who wrote a learned commentary 
on Publius Victor's work " De Regionibus 
Urbis " in the middle of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, says : " There still exist, fixed to the 
walls of the Mole, the * elogia * or inscrip- 
tions, which, like genealogical trees, as it 
were, contain the series of the family of 
the Antonines, which titles it pleased tiiem 
here to record exactly, so as to avoid the 
ambiguity of others who might less 
properly set down the order of their ages 
and adoption." Camucci, a century later, 
in the time of Paul III., tells us that he 
saw " a portion of the wall covered with 
marble, out of which a large fragment of 
frieze was to be seen, with heads of oxen 
and festoons of flowers, with the architrave 
above, and below a tablet with an inscrip- 
tion to Commodus, and still lower a 
shorter inscription with large letters to 
Lucius Aurelius Verus." 

There is no other authentic description 
of ancient or medieval date, though various 
restorations exist on pa^r, founded upon 
these data, and fanciful in their character 
— as, for instance, those of Piranesi, 
Labacco, Bartoli, Lauro, Donato, and 
others : and there still 'exists on the open 
corridor at the back of the Castle a pamt- 
ing in fresco, representing the Mausoleum 
as it was supposed to have been in its ori- 
ginal state. All these are purely conjec- 
tural, and differ in many respects. 
Bartoli, whose elevation of the Mausoleum 
may be seen in Montfaucon's " Antiqui- 
ties " (vol. v.), gives only two rows of col- 
umns. Lauro and others give three rows. 
Other give one storey of pilasters. The 
basement is square, and at each comer are 
statues of horses ; while the upper portion 
consists of a low dome surmounted by the 
pigna. 

The pigna was a large bronze pine-cone, 
now in the gardens of the Vatican, and 
said to have been unearthed in excavating 

• See Yennti, CoUeot Antiq. Bom.» toL U. p. 900. 



near the Mausoleum ; but it would seem 
to be more than doubtful whether it ever 
formed a part of this monument. The 
main argument in favour of such a hypoth- 
esis is the alleged discovery of it close un- 
der the Mausoleum. But though this fact 
has been constantly accepted on the faith 
of Vacca's statement, there seems on ex- 
amination to be no evidence sufficient to 
support it Vacca's words are : " The 
bronze pigiiA which stands in the said 
cortile [of St. Peter's] was found in digging 
the foundations- of the ancient church, 
*della Traspontina,* at the base (radici) 
of the Mausoleum of Hadrian. It crowned 
the said Mausoleum as the device of 
EEadrian.'^ Now in this statement there is 
carelessness, inaccuracy, and assumption. 
In the first place, it is an assumption that 
the pine-cone was the device of Hadrian. 
In the next place, it is most probable that 
he does not mean the " ancient church '* of 
S. M. in Traspontina, which was built by 
Adrian I. in 772, more than five centuries 
before his time ; but rather the more mod- 
em church of the same name, built by 
Pius IV. when he fortified the Leonine 
city in 1565, about thirty years before 
Vacca wrote. If he did mean the ancient 
church, his statement must have rested on 
mere tradition, inasmuch as it is found in 
no other writer ; or he may have inaccu- 
ratelv used the wordi fondare, to found, in- 
stead of sfondare, to pull down. However 
this may be, one fact is clear ; neither the 
ancient nor the modern church was at the 
base of the Mausoleum ; but, on the con- 
trary, both the ancient church was, and 
the modem church is, at a considerable 
distance from it. The former stood at the 
head of the portico of St. Peter's, deriving 
from its situation its original name of Sta. 
Maria in Portico, or in Capite Porticus, 
and was pulled down by Leo in order to 
make way for his new fortifications in the 
Vatican quarter. Then the new one was 
built, still further away from the Mauso- 
leum. But though the ancient church at 
the portico of St. Peter's was at some dis- 
tance from the Mausoleum of Hadrian, it 
stood nearly, if not precisely, upon the site 
of the Mausoleum of Honorius. Paolo 
Diacono, in the 14th book of his Supple- 
ment to Eutropius, speaking of Honorius, 
says that his body was brought to Rome, 
and buried in his mausoleum, adjoining 
the atrium of St. Peter's ("Juxta Beati 
Petri apostoli atrium in mausoleo sepul- 
tum est"). If, then, the pigna crowned 
the summit of any mausoleum, it would 
seem far more probable that it belonged 
to that of Honorius than to that of Hadrian. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



CASTLE ST. ANGBLO. 



109 



Nardini, in his '* Roma Antica," also takes 
this view ; but Marapgoni * thinks that it 
originally contained the ashes of Hadrian, 
and says it was removed in a.d. 498 by 
Pope Simmacus to the haU of St. Peter's 
as an ornament, and thence was carried to 
the gardens of the Vatican. If Marangoni 
be right, there is no foimdation at all for 
Yacca's statement. 

Others, again, suppose it to be the same 
with that describea by Pietro Manlio as 
forming an ornament which ori^ally 
stood over the statue of Cybele m the 
Pantheon ; while still others are of opinion 
that it once formed a portion of the pyra- 
mid to the Scipios. Mr. Ampere thmks 
that as the pigna is the extremity of the 
thyrsus, it is, in view of the mysteries of 
Bacchus and of his worship, a most fit 
omamenV for a tomb. But tnis argument 
seems to be too curiously ingenious and 
far-fetched to be satisfactory, unless the 
fact that it did form a portion of the 
Mausoleum be clearly proved. 

But, after all these varieties of opinion 
and conjecture, two clear and positive 
statements must be overthrown before 
Yacca's opinion can be accepted. Pro- 
copius, speaking of his own knowledge, 
says, '* On the summit are seen admirable 
statues of men and horses ; ** and in this he 
is corroborated by the direct testimony of 
John of Antioch, who says that "the 
Mausoleum was surmounted by a statue 
of Hadrian in a car drawn by four horses." 
If this be so, the pigna was certainlv not 
the crowning ornament of the Mausoleum. 

A&. Ampere also supposes that the pea- 
cocks, which were the symbol of Jimo, 
were placed there in honour of the em- 
presses, who were there interred. The 
peacock, he says, was the symbol of the 
apotheosis of the empresses, as the eagle 
was the symbol of the apotheosis of the 
emperors. This mav be ; out if so, it is a 
cunous fact that while we know the em- 
perors after Hadrian were buried there, 
DO eagles are spoken of; while, however 
probable it is that the empresses were also 
buried there, we have no record of such 
fact. The first mention we have of these 
peacocks is by Pietro Manlio in the twelfth 
century, and his statement is on the au- 
thority of a sermon by the Pope St. Leo. 
If they were still there he could surely 
have made this statement on his own 
authority, and it would therefore seem 
clear that none were there in his day. 
The anonymous writer of the thirteenth 



• ** Delle eoM gentlli^obe e profkne trtfportmte ad 
■o delle Chiese." — Ch. Ixix. 



centurv speaks as of his own knowledge 
of the bronze doors and the marble facing, 
but not with the same certainty as to the 
peacocks and bull. Two of these peacocks, 
says Manlio, are in St. Peter's. They 
were then considered, of value, and pains 
had been taken to preserve- them. How 
wa^ it that the others were left, if there 
were any others? And where are these 
peacocks now ? If these two in St. Peter's 
were aU that existed, what proof have we 
that they ever formed a portion of the 
Mausoleum? If they did, is it not far 
more probable that among the other stat- 
ues there was one of Juno, on which these 
peacocks were the accompaniments ? 

A tradition has for along time prevailed 
that twenty-four of the columns in San 
Paolo Fuori le Mure were taken from 
Hadrian's Mole by Constantine; but this 
seems to have no satisfactory foundation, 
and rests purely upon a popular belief 
given currency to by Pope Clement YIL 
and his architect Labacco. The columns 
of Yerdeantico, which now adorn the 
niches at St. John Lateran, are also said 
to have once belonged to the second order 
in the Mausoleum; but this belief rests 
upon no satis&ctory evidence. 

As far, then, as we really know any- 
thing of the original appearance of this 
wonaerful and renowed building, derived 
either from report or from the solid re- 
mains which war, earthquake, and time 
have failed to obliterate, it seems to have 
been founded on its great prototype, that 
wonder of the world which Artemisia 
erected to her Carian lord, and the broken 
fragments of wliich, after many centuries, 
have finally found a home among a people 
who when it was built were outer baroa- 
rians. Both suffered terribly from the 
violence of man and nature; but while 
the tomb of Mausolus was leveUed to the 
ground, so that the grass covered its site 
and obliterated even its vestiges, the tomb 
of Hadrian, resisting all assaults of time, 
still stands unshaken in its massive mason- 
ry. But of the admirable sculpture that 
once adorned these magnificent mausole- 
ums even less remains of the later Roman 
work than of its Carian rival. Nothing, 
in fact, now exists of all the statues that 
stood on Hadrian's tomb save the so-called 
Barberini Faun now in the gallery at 
Munich ; and this noble work, which in 
breadth of style, spirit of conception, and 
rendering of character, may challenge com- 
parison with the best works of Greece, 
only deepens our sense of the loss Art has 
sustained in the destruction of all the rest. 
It is also probable that the colossal busts 



Digitized by 



Googk 



200 



CASTLE ST. ANGELO. 



of Hadrian himself and of Pallas now in 
ike Vatican came from this Mausoleum, as 
well as the large sarcophagus of black-and- 
white granite in the Museo Pio ClementinOi 
the porphyry basin which forms the bap- 
tismal font of St. Peter's, and the pwphyry 
sarcophagus in which Innocent IL was 
buried. The ashes of the emperors are 
blown to the winds like common dust, and 
their place is usurped by Papal successors, 
while the infant of to-day is dipped in the 
cover of a pasan sarcophagus to be bap- 
tized into the Christian Church. " Here's 
fine revolution, an we had* the trick to 
see't." 

The Mausoleum was constructed of 
brickwork and square blocks of peperino- 
stone laid with such care and exactness 
that lightning, battle, and earthquake have 
failed to shake it from its perfect solidity. 
Inside and outside it was faced with 
courses of Parian marble. The basement 
was a square of about 340 feet each way, 
and about 76 feet high. Above this rose 
a circular tower of some 285 feet in diam- 
eter and 140 in height, divided into two or 
three storeys, and ornamented with col- 
umns. Between these columns were stat- 
ues executed by the ablest artists of the 
period; and as Hadrian was devoted to 
the arts, and especially to that of sculp- 
ture, there can be little doubt that the 
statues and bassi relievi which' adorned this 
splendid structure were among the noblest 
works in Rome. Above the circular tower 
was a dome, or at least a curvilinear roo( 
which must have risen to the height of 
some 300 feet. This was probably crowned 
by a colossal ffroup representing Hadrian 
in a chariot drawn by four horses, after 
the plan of the tomb of Mausolus, its 
Grecian prototype. Rich friezes girdled 
it around, some storied with figures, some 
architectural with heads of oxen and fes- 
toons of flowers. On each of the four 
sides of the square basement was a mas- 
sive door of gilt bronze, and at each of 
these doors were four horses, also of gilt 
bronze. Between the doors on the base- 
ment were large tablets, on which were in- 
scribed the names and titles of the empe- 
rors who were buried within it. 

The waUs were of immense thickness ; 
not filled up in the centre with rubbish, 
but throughout of the most solid workman- 
ship, as may be seen by a breach made for 
a temporary purpose long after it was 
built. In the centre were two chambers 
in the shape of a Greek cross, one above 
the other, each cased in rich Paonazetto 
marble, and illuminated by two openings 
which pierced the thickness of the giant 



walls. Here the ashes of the emperors 
were deposited, the post assigned to